From Coltrane to Quatrane

by Kate Brady

The improvisational music of Miles Davis reverberates off the walls in the college dorm room of Vince Tampio and Mike Kadnar.

These two SUNY New Paltz music students make up half of the jazz band Quatrane.

Jazz flows emotionally through the instruments of these musicians and transforms into notes for their listeners to experience.

The quartet fell in love with the expressive power of jazz music and they all incorporate those sentiments into different aspects of their lives.

“I think a lot of us just really dig music,” said 22-year-old drummer, Mike Kadnar. “We are pretty much just committed to music almost entirely. We go to school for it, we rehearse every night.”

Kadnar takes three days out of his hectic week as a college student to drive to Orange County and immerse his 15 music students, ranging from the ages of 5 to 15, in one-on-one drumming lessons.

“I help them play all of the songs from bands that they like,” Kadnar said. “I like teaching one-on-one because I really can create a bond with my students and pass on the musical knowledge I have gained thus far to the next generation of musicians.”

All of the members of Quatrane are music majors at SUNY New Paltz with a concentration in jazz studies. They have built their college careers around the disciplined yet improvisational style of jazz music.

“I think that as you grow as a musician, it gets to a point where you need to tackle the very difficult genres and that really boils down to two, classical and jazz, and that is why they are focused on in music schooling,” said 22 year-old guitarist Chris Dayton. “Jazz music is kind of the next step after you have gone so far, at least it was for me.”

These college students were all introduced to jazz at different stages of their lives.

“In 10th grade, my drum instructor gave me two CDs, John Coltrane’s album ‘Crescent’ and Freddie Hubbard’s album ‘Red Clay,’” Kadnar said. “That was the first time I ever heard jazz and I never looked back.”

Jazz is changing more and more as times goes on. As the original generations of jazz listeners begin to diminish, many lovers of this genre are fearing for its future.

“I think that in the future, jazz will turn more away from the mainstream and turn more into fusion jazz,” Kadnar said. “I think that jazz as a pop music is not going to happen again and if it does, it’s going to take at least another 30 years.”

Quatrane is already well on their way to playing the type of jazz music they expect to see in the future. With eclectic musical tastes that range from classic rock and blues to death metal, this group, which defines their music as “rock jazz fusion” is already fusing the style of classical jazz with a hip modern twist.

“The other stuff we listen to really comes out in our jazz playing,” said 22 year-old bassist, Ben Basile. “There is a lot of funk and reggae that sneaks in there, I think. Even the occasional hip-hop sneaks in and blends together to form what we do.”

Jazz music evokes an impromptu style in all who play it. This mentality is evident in all of Quatrane’s music.

“When you think about Quatrane, it’s a lot about the weather,” Basile said. “You can predict whatever you want, but it’s going to be something different no matter what.”

Read more about Quatrane’s Debut here.

Sarah Calandra Fine

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