Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Middle Eastern Promise

From Cleveland to Qatar, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci preaches a jazz gospel of human understanding

In 2013, Farinacci and his quartet perform at the international Dukhan English School in Qatar
Hit-making producer Tommy LiPuma, now 80, has been a supporter of Farinacci since the trumpeter was a teenager

Taking the stage at the Philadelphia jazz club South on a steamy Wednesday evening in August, Dominick Farinacci offered the small crowd a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer: Brace yourselves, he warned, for a confusing blend of material over the course of his set. It might seem strange that the trumpeter and his quintet will follow a Horace Silver classic with a Tom Waits song, or a tango with a Middle Eastern-tinged original. But that eclecticism was the point. “I like to bridge different genres and generations,” he said.

As it turns out, that’s more than an explanation for Farinacci’s wide-ranging tastes; it’s a mission statement, one that he’s carried into the educational arena, from his hometown of Cleveland to the cities of the Arab world. Most of the music he performed that night in Philly came from Farinacci’s latest release, Short Stories (Mack Avenue), recorded at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts with the involvement of more than 800 college, high school and middle school students. The album was in part inspired by Farinacci’s stint as the first-ever Global Ambassador to Jazz at Lincoln Center, during which he spent nearly two years in Doha, Qatar. Onstage, in a dry deadpan, he referred to that city as “the jazz capital of the world.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published