St. Lawrence University
Assistant Professor of Mathematics,
Computer Science and Statistics Dan Gagliardi has teamed up with Bill
Vitek, professor of philosophy at Clarkson University to release
an album of jazz standards and originals, titled A Fine Line.
Gagliardi plays bass; Vitek, piano.
Gagliardi joined the faculty after
receiving his Ph. D. from North
Carolina State University in 2003. His work in mathematics
is focused on graph theory and Lie algebra, and he will host an
international math conference at St. Lawrence this fall. Gagliardi
started out as a musician and won a scholarship to study double-bass
at the Eastman
School of Music in Rochester, New York. He has played professionally
for many years with some big names in jazz, including Tom Harrell,
Bruce Barth and Steve Hobbs. His music career was put on hold after
sustaining an injury which prevented him from playing bass for
over a year. Gagliardi then turned his attention to math, and after
college he worked at IBM for 10 years as a software engineer. He
earned his master's degree from New
Mexico State University in 1993 and taught at Manhattan
College in New York City from 1993 to 1997.
has been playing music since his undergraduate days at Union
College. After graduating in 1979, he studied jazz piano with Crane
School of Music alum Frank Stagnitta, and worked as a musician
for many years in the Albany area, going on to record three albums
of jazz nursery rhymes with Albany musician Josh Greenberg. Their recordings
have won a number of awards, including the Family Life's Critic's Choice
Award, an American Library Association "Notable Children's Recording" citation
and The Oppenheim Gold Seal Best Audio Award. Vitek has played professionally
around the North Country since his arrival in 1987.
"It’s such a pleasure to share our love of the great American
songbook with our audiences," Vitek says, "and to demonstrate the musical
forms and structures specific to jazz."
Vitek and Gagliardi have been playing together for two years. Since
their first gig together, they have worked to create melodies that
celebrate the duo rather than music that vaunts the soloist. The twosome’s
tunes move easily from hard, driving swing to open ballads, and the
players are always listening and responding to each other. The duo
also regularly plays with young musicians from Potsdam’s Crane
School of Music, and share the experience of their three decades in
the music business with the performers, offering a kind of "on-the-bandstand
education" that can’t be found in music school.
"The jobs of musician
and professor both have an element of performance," says Vitek. "Whether
in front of a lecture hall of students, one’s peers or on a coffee
house stage, Dan and I enjoy the challenge of engaging an audience."
"We’re so very fortunate," says Gagliardi, "to be intellectually
challenged and rewarded in our day jobs as teachers and academics,
and to be able to have so much fun playing the music we love after
To purchase a copy of A Fine Line or to learn more about their
performance schedule, contact Vitek@clarkson.edu.
Buy a copy of A Fine Line and
listen to mp3 samples at Northcountrydigital.com
to an interview with Gagliardi and Vitek on North Country Public
Posted: August 25, 2005