New York-New Jersey-Philly-St Pete-Sarasota-Southern California
What is your affiliation to the Jazz World?
Musical Artist, Educator, Music Director, Arranger, Composer
Tell us a little about your background...
Vince di Mura is a veteran Jazz pianist, composer, arranger and musical director; appearing on concert stages and theatres throughout North America, Canada, and Latin America. He currently serves as the Resident Composer and Musical Director for the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University. He has conducted Musical Theatre seasons at The Bethesda Nederlander Theatre, Laguna Playhouse in California, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, the Augusta Barn Theatre in Michigan, Artpark and Company in Lewiston N.Y., Tennessee Repertory in Nashville, The Asolo Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre and American Stage in Florida, Passage Theatre, Act II Playhouse, The Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, The Muhlenburg Summer Theatre Festival, and The Little Theatre in the Rockies.
Best known for his arrangements of "My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra Cabaret," (with over 450 productions nationally), Vince has musical directed productions at the Blowing Rock Stage Company and Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina, Western Michigan’s Cherry County Playhouse, The Barter Theatre in Virginia, and Arkansas Repertory Company in Little Rock. In 2005, Vince co-created, arranged and musical directed American Stage’s premier production of "I Left My Heart"; A Tribute to Tony Bennett: Licensed by Summerwind Productions; and musical directed the premier production at American Stage in St. Petersburg Florida. There has been multiple productions of "I Left My Heart" since its premier, including successful runs the Laguna Playhouse (which he musical directed), Welk Resort Theatre in Escadido CA, Merry Go Round Theatre in New York, Phoenix Theatre in Arizona, as well as theatres from New England to Oregon.
Vince has fulfilled multiple compositional commissions from Princeton University's department of Theatre and Dance, Rutgers University, Rider University, the Pingry Foundation, the University of Colorado, The Scioto Society, Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Passage Theatre, the University of Northern Colorado, and a host of scores for People's Light and Theatre Company. As an arranger, Vince has fulfilled commissions from Summerwind Productions, Act II Playhouse, The Arden Theatre Company, MusicalFare in Buffalo NY, and his 2008 rewriting of the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "The Pirates of Penzance." This new version was commissioned by American Stage in St Petersburg Florida and its musical styles ran from Iron Maiden to the Allman Brothers.
He holds composition and jazz fellowships from the William Goldman Foundation, Temple University, Meet the Composer, CEPAC, the Union County Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pujffin Cultural Forum and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
In February 2004, Vince premiered a concert version of his first spoken word/jazz opera, "A Poet In Harlem:" with text by Nuyorican poet, Willie Perdomo. Performances at the Puffin Cultural Forum, The Arts Guild of Rahway, 12 Miles West Theatre and The Bowery Poetry Club followed. On March 4th, 2007, Vince premiered "For Lost Words"; a second spoken word/jazz rock opera based on the Vietnam poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa at the Passage Theatre in Trenton. Since then, the music has had hearings in colleges and cultural centers throughout the tri-state area. The New York premiere and CD release party took place on September 29th 2008, at the Cornelia Street Cafe' in the west village. The CD, on the BackGarden Label, is now available on the internet at CDBaby.com. and Digstation.com; as well as itunes and any number of internet music outlets.
No stranger to the recording studio, Vince has 3 other CDs out: the 2000 release, "Imperfect Balance," the 2007 release, "A Darker Shade of Romance," and the 2010 release, "California Sage:" (with James Leary on Bass and Fritz Wise on drums.) All three are available at CDBABY.COM. as well as a large number of internet outlets.
Here is a little praise from a trusted and accomplished colleague:
I am currently musical directing your show, 'I Left My heart' at the Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs, Florida.
Something I have rarely done in my career is to write to acknowledge and pay homage to the incredibly tasteful, intricate and imaginative work of the arranger. This is truly a work of art. Quality like this is hard to find in the world of musical theatre these days, especially when writing for smaller ensembles, a very different skill to writing for larger orchestras. From one arranger to another, please pass on my congratulations and thanks to Mr di Mura. I haven't enjoyed myself musically so much in years.
Phil Hinton - Production Music Director
Phil was, for many years, a pianist, arranger and conductor for the BBC in London, UK. He has also arranged and conducted more than 250 albums for artists such as Anthony Newley, Shirley Bassey, Howard Keel, Elton John, Vince Hill, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Paul McCartney to name just a few. He was Shirley Bassey's personal music director for three years and Vince Hill's for nine years. Since permanently relocating to the USA in 1994, he has directed countless theatre shows all over the USA as well as having toured with Aretha Franklin and Jim Baily. He has also given many classical and jazz piano recitals around the USA and on several cruise ships, including the world-famous QE2. Phil was also conductor of the Florida Pops Concert orchestra for three years.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."