From Tadd Dameron to Albert Ayler to Joe Lovano, Cleveland jazz musicians have gone forth into the world to make a big splash. Tonight’ marks a homecoming for the latest player on this path, when young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci returns to Nighttown — a club he’s played since he was a teenager — for an 8 p.m. show.
Farinacci is an alum of Tri-C’s youth jazz program, where he played with the Tri-C Jazzfest High School All-Stars. It was at Tri-C’s annual JazzFest where he met Wynton Marsalis, who became a sort of mentor and encouraged him to enroll at New York’s Juilliard School, which was just starting its jazz program.
At that point, he was already a veteran of Cleveland’s jazz scene, having played regularly with groups like Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Band. But being in New York and getting heard by the high-level musicians affiliated with Juilliard gave him even more opportunities.
Now in his mid-20s, Farinacci released six albums as a bandleader in Japan before releasing his U.S. debut Lovers, Tales & Dances earlier this year. (Several Cleveland jazz greats — including Lovano, Jamey Haddad and Kenny Barron — played on the album).
He’s also signed with a major New York-based management company the Jazz Tree. Fortunately, he still comes back to Cleveland regularly to show hometown fans how he’s progressing. —Anastasia Pantsios