Rio Clemente Comes to The Morris Museum, April 8

Rio Clemente Comes to The Morris Museum, April 8

The legendary "Bishop of Jazz", Rio Clemente, will present his debut of "Rio Plays Rio," full of original music mixed in with jazz favorites, the American Song book, full band numbers plus piano solos at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum on Monday, April 8 at 7:30PM.

Hailing from Morristown, NJ, Clemente is one of the most popular jazz pianists in the region. He studied at Julliard and his classical training comes through in his virtuosic style of jazz. He has appeared at the JVC Jazz Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and many other venues across the country. He has been invited to play at the White House and at the United Nations and his honors include Musician of the Year from the New Jersey Jazz Society, Professional Artist of the Year from Morris Arts, and induction into the Morristown Hall of Fame. Jazz great Dave Brubeck admired Clemente's piano solos saying, "Rio Clemente is EXCELLENT!" He prepared a feature CD on Richard Rodgers that led Linda Rodgers to say, "Rio plays my father's music better than anyone I ever heard."

Rio Clemente, who leads on the piano, is assembling a group he calls the "Abbotts" which includes: Flip Peters on guitar, Alex Gressel on bass, Vern Mobely on drums and some surprise guests.

Flip Peters has performed as a guitarist and singer since the early 1970s. He has been a house musician at The Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, The World Trade Center, The Plaza Hotel, The Waldorf Astoria and many other top venues in the New York area. He has entertained guests at events hosted by AT&;T, Coca-Cola, and other corporate clients as well as at events hosted and attended by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Bolton, Garth Brooks, Estee Lauder, Phil Donahue, Dr. Ruth, Yogi

Berra, and many others. In addition to his gigs with Rio Clemente, Flip plays regularly jazz greats Warren Vaché, Houston Person, Bill Crow, and others.

Since his start playing in Austrian theaters, bassist Alex Gressel has had the great fortune to play with world-class but somewhat obscure musicians such as the originator of Bossa Nova and Samba Jazz drumming Edison Machado, his mentor, the danish multi-talent Marilyn Mazur, alto sax giant Clarence "C" Sharpe, the genius piano player Mark Thompson, Cecil Payne, Sadik Hakim, Dennis Charles, Tommy Turrentine, Mozar Terra and many others. In addition to performing in the band of Rio Clemente, he also performs with pianist Johnny O'Neal, as well as the groups of Roy Meriwether, Warren Chiasson, and Cidinho Teixeira and musicians such as Steve Williams, Bill Saxton, Philip Harper and David Gibson.

Vernon J. Mobley has been a performing drummer for over three decades. His vast understanding of rhythm and rhythmic patterns has made his unmistakable drumming style unrivaled in the tri-state area. His talents have allowed him to share the stage with such amazing artists as Richard Cummings(Harry Belefonte/Wayne Shorter), Robbi Kumalo(Aretha Franklin/Mary J. Blige), Gene Perla(Miles Davis/Frank Sinatra) and Bakithi Kumalo(Paul Simon) and a host of other amazing musicians and singers. He has spent countless hours studying to create a drumming sound and theory that transcends to all who listen to him play.

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution serving the public through its exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities. The Museum is home to the historic and internationally-significant Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. Changing exhibits of contemporary content also explore the Guinness themes of art, sound, and motion. The adjacent Bickford Theatre is the museum's 312-seat performing-arts facility, offering unique programming, often related to the museum's exhibition themes. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has a proud tradition of innovative educational programs and family events. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, it has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts' Citation of Excellence, among other awards.

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free Museum admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Morris Museum also offers free admission to military personnel all year long.

Tickets for Rio Plays Rio are $18 for Museum Members, $20 for Non-Members and $18 for Seniors. All seats are reserved. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 973.971.3706, or in person at the Morris Museum. The Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours for ticket purchases are during normal Museum operating hours.

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