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Dominick Farinacci nurtures local talent

Playing with brass tact: Dominick Farinacci

Playing with brass tact: Dominick Farinacci

The days of being a child prodigy are past for Dominick Farinacci, a horn player with nine albums under his 28-year-old belt. Now, the Solon native wants to find – and nurture – other child prodigies who play jazz, boosting the Cuyahoga Community College Jazz Studies program at the same time.

Farinacci was just appointed 2011-12 Artist in Residence at the Creative Center for the Arts, the new Tri-C complex housing the college’s jazz studies program and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum archives. He already has begun to showcase local talent: On June 26, he spotlighted students and faculty from Tri-C Jazz Studies along with his contemporaries, pianist Aaron Diehl and vocalist Charenne Wade, in the “Tri-C Jazz Legends of Tomorrow” concert at the Hanna Theatre.

The idea, Farinacci says by phone from his adopted home of New York, is to “bring in different artists from my generation” several times a year to work with Tri-C Jazz Studies and local high schools, encouraging students to be “active in music.” He’s looking for five to seven guests per year, to work this field three or four days at a time. 

Education isn’t the only thing on Farinacci’s mind, however.

On Monday, the Juilliard School graduate will celebrate the release of his album, Dawn of Goodbye, at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center in New York. The date will feature two or three students from the Tri-C JazzFest High School band. The superintendent of Cleveland Heights schools is set to attend, along with noted cultural critic Stanley Crouch and Terri Pontremoli, the jazz administrator helping further Farinacci’s Tri-C ambitions. SiriusXM Radio will record the Dizzy’s concert for broadcast next month. A local CD release party is scheduled for Thursday evening at Nighttown (details at end of story).

"I wanted to put together a collection of songs that told a story.” 

Dawn of Goodbye is Farinacci’s second U.S. release, after seven issued in Japan. It features three originals: the sturdy “Dom’s Blues,” the burred, buttery “Midnight Embrace,” and the title track, a slow burn stressing Farinacci’s subtle trumpet vibrato and the drums of Carmen Intorre in high shimmer. The CD is intensely romantic and subtly textured, spanning a buoyant, insidious “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” an unexpectedly upbeat “Willow Weep for Me,” and “Windshadow,” a darkling beauty by pianist Dan Kaufman. The feel is varied, spanning the bluesy sax of Ernie Krivda, one of Farinacci’s teachers, on “Midnight Embrace,” and the Latin guitar of Guilherme Monteiro, on a sambafied “I Concentrate on You.” Some tracks cook, but overall, the mood is restrained, the emotionality suggestive rather than assertive. Farinacci’s  artistry is modest and accurate; he can blast (check how he dispatches “It’s Al Right With Me”), but his preferred mode is implication. And he grasps duende, that complex Spanish idea that, when communicated properly, pushes the soul to the surface of the skin. Miles Davis embodied duende; so did Clifford Brown, Farinacci’s key role model, in a tarter way. As did that once-handsome ruin, the breathy, tragic Chet Baker.

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