The “Free Fridays” concert series features the jazz band R&E’s Army Friday, July 22 at 8 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza. R&E’s Army is a local jazz quartet that includes Richy Stano (electric guitar), Elio Piedra (drums/percussion), Delorean Fullington (bass guitar) and Zach Chester (keyboards).
Richy Stano is a noted musician, teacher, composer, performer and producer. He has his own contemporary jazz band, Mindwalk, which released two critically acclaimed CDs of which he wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. He is currently a guitar professor at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. Stano has performed or toured internationally with Bo Diddley, Curb Records recording artist Amy Dalley, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Trisha Yearwood, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX and opened for acts such as Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Clint Black, Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Randy Travis and several others.
Elio Piedra began his musical career when he was 10 at the Raúl Sánchez Vocational School of Art in Cuba, specializing in percussion studies. When he was 12, he began participating in music festivals across Cuba, and at 15 years old, he began his music studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Cuba, where he toured with the symphonic orchestra around the country. When he was 20 years old, Piedra arrived in Gainesville, Florida, where he was asked to play with the local Latin band, Tropix. Piedra is also a drums instructor at Ancient Rhythms Drum Shop in Gainesville, and gives private lessons on piano, percussion and drums.
Delorean Fullington is a multi-talented bassist from Miami, Florida. He has been playing music since the age of 10, and has been playing professionally for about 15 years. Fullington graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor's degree in jazz studies. He plays many different styles and genres of music including jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, gospel, reggae and Latin.
Zac Chester has performed and/or worked with many great jazz luminaries such as Longineu Parson, Wycliffe Gordon, Barry Green, Calvin Newborn, Scott Wilson, John Lumpkin Jr., Randal Haywood, Bill Prince, Von Barlow, Phil Morrison, Al Waters, Mark McKnight, Billy Thornton and more. He earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Florida. Based out of north Florida, Chester has worked with many of the top venues throughout Florida and southeast Georgia, including a 12-year band leader position at the Casa Monica in St. Augustine, Florida, a five-year solo piano position at the Ritz Carlton of Amelia Island, Florida and served for 10 years as a solo pianist and sideman at The Cloister hotel and other sea island resorts of St. Simons Island, Georgia.
The 2016 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and funded in part by grants from Alachua County’s Visit Gainesville and the State of Florida’s Culture Builds Florida. The concerts play each Friday night this year from Friday, May 6 through Friday, Oct. 21 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza, at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. To view the complete “Free Fridays” 2016 schedule, please visit the Cultural Affairs Division website at www.gvlculturalaffairs.org. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.