Arts at the Palace is thrilled to present Joe Carello, Jimmy Johns, and Tom Brigandi performing three dazzling original compositions for our Jazz at Noon Originals video series. We hope you enjoy listening to these pieces and learning a little bit about the stories behind them.

Joe Carello: I was sitting at the piano just kind of noodling when “Modalities” came to me in pretty much complete form. I hadn’t written any original music in years so I was excited by the process and result. Made me want to do more music writing!

“Modalities” is kind of a double meaning in that we (teachers) are working in different modalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic-in person, virtual and a combination of both. Improvising on this piece takes the player through a number of modes.

Jimmy Johns:  “Body Double” is a ballad based on the chord changes of “Body and Soul,” a song that became synonymous with the great jazz tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and is a staple of the jazz repertoire. My title reflects the association with this iconic tune. “Lethal Fourth” is a blues in F that consists primarily of intervals of a perfect fourth. The title is a tongue in cheek reference to the expression lethal force.

More about the artists

Saxophonist and educator Joe Carello is a Syracuse native and has performed with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Symphoria, Rochester Philharmonic, Colgate Orchestra, Central New York Jazz Orchestra and other free-lance ensembles.  He has been a featured soloist in concerts with Gunther Schuller, Diane Schurr, Maureen Mcgovern, and Jeff Tyzik to name a few.  Joe was also a member of the Syracuse Symphony Rock Ensemble-a group started by Calvin Custer in the 1970’s.  As lead alto saxophonist with the Central New York Jazz Orchestra he has performed with Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Grady Tate and others. As a sideman Joe has worked with Aretha Franklin, The Temptations,  Chuck and Gap Mangione, The New York Voices, Harry Connick Jr., Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow,  and Frank Sinatra Jr.  He has recorded with Danny D’Imperio, Eric Alexander, Barry Harris, Nancy Kelly, Ralph Lalama, The Syracuse Symphony and Central New York Jazz orchestra. Joe is an often-featured performer with college and high school jazz bands and is a sought-after conductor, clinician and adjudicator. In addition to his performing career, Joe is a teacher at Onondaga Community College, Lemoyne College and co-director of The Band Bus School Music Service.

Jimmy Johns has been a mainstay of the CNY music scene for over 40 years. He has worn many hats as a drummer/vibist playing anything from a small jazz club to a concert venue. He has been an adjunct instructor of jazz drumset and vibraphone at Colgate University and Hamilton College for 20 years and also teaches privately. He has enjoyed a long association with Syracuse Stage and has performed with the Mario Desantis Orchestra for 30 + years. Jimmy has appeared at many jazz festivals including The Syracuse Jazz Festival. He has shared the stage with jazz greats Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Slam Stewart, Joshua Breakstone, Sal Nistico, Nick Brignola, J.R. Monterose, John Pizzarelli and The New York Voices. Jimmy plays vibraphone every Wednesday night at Pastabilities in Armory Square.

Tom Brigandi is a jazz musician who has paid his dues in the time-honored tradition, under the watchful tutelage of a who’s who of seasoned bop mentors like Nick Brignola, J.R. Montrose and Chuck Mangione. Tom was a member of the Chuck Mangione Quartet from January 1994 until May 1998. He has played with Jazz artists such as Mike Stern, Leni Stern, Steve Gadd, Gerry Niewood, Eric Alexander, Joe Locke, Joe Magnarelli, Lew Soloff, to name a few. Tom played a five-week engagement in Istanbul, Turkey in the late 90’s at the prestigious Q Club with Amhearst recording artist Nancy Kelly.

Tom resides in both his hometown of Syracuse, NY as well as New York City. He credits friend and music collaborator Mike Stern (a former Miles Davis and Brecker Brother guitarist) and long time friend Danny D’Imperio (V.S.O.P. Recording artist) for influencing his playing. Tom toured as part of the “Little Giants Reunion” band with Chuck and Gap Mangione, Gerry Niewood and Charles Ruggiero, and with the “Gerry Niewood Quartet” and “Junior Mance Quartet” (with D’Imperio). He performed in the “Hat’s Back”, a new Mangione concert presented in Upstate cities and featuring over 200 choral, orchestral, vocal, and instrumental jazz artists.

Tom’s debut CD release “Late Night New York” (Feb., 2000/Bass On Top Music) is an exciting straight ahead bop recording featuring Tenor Sax sensation Eric Alexander. His follow up CD release in 2002, “Late Night New York – After Hours” includes Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. In July 2017, Tom performed with Symphoria with featured artist Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli at the Central New York Jazz Festival and premiered “What are We Doing to our World” by Anne Phillips in New York City. He performs with Chelsea Opera in New York City. Tom continues to be sought after for his skills on both acoustic and electric bass. He plays nationally as well as throughout Upstate New York and New York City.


“Modalities” composed by Joe Carello

“Body Double” composed by Jimmy Johns

“Lethal Fourths” composed by Jimmy Johns

Joe Carello, Jimmy Johns, Tom Brigandi

Recorded at Jazz Central in Syracuse, NY

Ryan Drake

Spencer Congel

Michael Sunderlin


James McDowell

Ruth Berry, Elizabeth Douglas, Dianne Adams McDowell, James McDowell

Lauren Marshall

Jazz at Noon is an eight-month jazz series (September-April) that brings together a diverse group of artists—from the seasoned pro to the newly-emerging—to collaborate, entertain, and inspire in the intimate setting of the Palace Underground. Due to current COVID-19 guidelines, we’ve reimagined the series in a virtual format. 

JAZZ AT NOON ORIGINALS video series home page

Jazz at Noon ORIGINALS is made possible in part from a grant from the Central New York Community Foundation.