campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College to Host Holiday Jazz Concert by the Eric Mintel Quartet Featuring Music of Vince Guaraldi

NEW LONDON, N.H., Nov. 7, 2007 - The Colby-Sawyer College Fine and Performing Arts Department will present “A Jazz Holiday with the Eric Mintel Quartet” featuring the music of Vince Guaraldi in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The quartet will perform on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Hall of the Ware Campus Center. Admission is free, and the public is welcome.

The Eric Mintel Quartet is a professional touring jazz group known for its energetic, lyrical and entertaining music. Critics often note Mintel's passionate piano style, the group's attention to melody, its catchy original compositions and use of classical elements throughout the performances. “We care about this music so much that it's very important to us that our audience can identify with the music,” says Mintel.

The quartet features Eric Mintel on the piano, Nelson Hill on saxophone and flute, Dave Anthonow on acoustic and electric bass, and Dave Mohn on drums. The quartet has toured the country, performing at jazz festivals, cultural centers and concert halls including at the White House and the Kennedy Center. They have also collaborated with several symphony orchestras and choral groups.

In a separate event also on Wednesday, Dec. 5, the quartet will hold a jazz workshop, “The Mind of a Jazz Musician and The Art of Jazz Improvisation” at 5:30 p.m. in Wheeler Hall. The workshop is offered to musicians interested in jazz. For more information and to reserve a space for this workshop, contact the Campus Activities Office (526-3759) by Monday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m.

In addition to touring, the quartet engages in outreach programs for elementary school children and throughout the country and educates audiences about the importance of jazz in American culture.

From the age of three, Mintel could be found sitting at the piano creating his own music. In 1982, he began taking piano lessons, and while his teacher tried to teach him the basics, Mintel was already playing complicated pieces.

In 1993, the Eric Mintel Quartet was formed. Three years later, the quartet performed for President Clinton in the White House. He has been featured in Down Beat Jazz magazine, and in 2005, Mintel was the featured guest on Marian McPartland's show “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio.

Nelson Hill, the group's lead saxophone and flute player, studied at the Eastman School of Music and graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in saxophone performance. Following his graduation, Hill toured with Maynard Ferguson for three years playing lead alto saxophone. During this time, he also recorded on the albums “Storm” and “Hollywood.” In 2002, Nelson released “Lethal,” his first solo album.

Dave Antonow, the quartet's acoustic and electric bass player, studied at William Paterson University and has shared the stage with jazz greats Howard Collins, Glenn Davis, and Carla White. Antonow has also worked extensively in live musical theater, and as a freelance bassist. He toured with the USO in Germany in the mid-1970s, and was featured in Dick Clark's “Cavalcade of Stars” in the early 1980s.

The quartet's drummer, Dave Mohn, is from a family of drummers: his father, uncle and grandfather all played the instrument. Mohn has had a varied musical career, which has included collaborations with Paul Schaeffer and Ballie and the Boys. He has also recorded projects with George Duke and has appeared on soundtracks for “Sesame Street.”

To learn about other Colby-Sawyer College events visit:

-Amber Cronin '11

Amber Cronin is a Communication Studies major at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students from 40 states and 11 foreign countries learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000