Chris Hovan Organic Trio featuring Clif Metcalf and Derek DiCenzo
Tapping into the current Hammond organ revival, Chris Hovan’s Organic Trio revisits the classic organ combo genre with a renewed sense of purpose that puts swing and soulful energy at a premium. Drawing from both the classic and contemporary jazz repertoires, the trio features a rotating cast of musicians from Ohio and Michigan. For this special gathering, Hovan features up-and-coming organist Clif Metcalf. Hovan first encountered the sophomore at Hope College back in 2016 while attending Tony Monaco’s first Jazz Organ Summit in Holland, Michigan. Recently, Hovan worked with Clif again during Hope’s second Organ Summit along with making musical ...acquaintances with guitarist Derek DiCenzo. A regular member of Monaco’s trio, Derek has been a mainstay on the Columbus jazz scene and toured nationally with Monty Alexander.
A respected photographer, journalist, and musician, Chris Hovan has been involved with music since starting piano lessons at the tender young age of five. Adding clarinet to his studies while in middle school, Hovan ultimately devoted his full attention to drums and percussion while a freshman in high school. He attended the prestigious music conservatory at Baldwin-Wallace College where he studied classical percussion with George Kiteley. It was at this time that he began expanding his sphere of influence by studying Latin and Brazilian percussion styles and collecting instruments. Hovan also studied drum set for a year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston with Skip Hadden, John Ramsey, and Tommy Campbell. Upon his return to Cleveland, he honed his big band and chart reading skills with the legendary Harry Damas.
Over the past 25 years, Hovan has played in a variety of Northeast Ohio venues with many of the city’s finest players including Rich Holsworth, Josh Smith, Francois Roland, Larry Ross, Jackie Warren, Jeremy Poparad, and Bobby Selvaggio. He has also shared the stage with such national artists as Arturo O’Farrill, Brian Lynch, Tony Monaco, Alex Harding, and Frank Lacy. Hovan presently works as percussionist with the horn-based ensemble Funkology and plays drums in Bob Niederriter’s trio which regularly features Columbus organ greats Jon Eshelman and Robert Mason. cahovan.com
Derek DiCenzo is a multi-instrumentalist who is as comfortable playing jazz on the acoustic bass as on the guitar or even the steel drum. He has been a full-time musician based in Columbus, Ohio for many years; his diverse influences and uncanny musical intuition has made him a much sought-after player.
Derek freelances and is a member of several groups and has toured and recorded with Jamaican-born jazz piano sensation Monty Alexander for many years, performing at jazz festivals, clubs, and concert halls all over the world. Recent appearances have been at New York City’s Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall and at the Blue Note Tokyo. Derek has appeared with Monty Alexander, Diane Schuur, RJD2, and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. He can be heard on recordings by Monty Alexander and jazz guitar legends Jim Hall and Charlie Byrd.
Clifton (Clif) Metcalf is a sophomore at Hope College in Holland Michigan, where he studies with Artist-In-Residence and jazz organ monster, Tony Monaco. Clif is focusing on Jazz Organ Performance at Hope College, which is believed to be the first and only institution in the U.S. to offer such a program. In the fall of 2016, he participated in the 1st annual Jazz Organ Summit, a gathering of prominent artists and enthusiasts from around the United States that featured Jim Alfredson (Organissimo, Root Doctor, Hammond TV) and Gerard Gibbs (Organized Crime, RYZ). The event was hosted by Tony Monaco and the Hope College Jazz Faculty. Clif was honored to share the stage with Mr. Monaco, Chuck Loeb and Harvey Mason (Fourplay), as a part of the summit headline concert.
Most recently, Clif was part of the 2ndJazz Organ Summit at Hope where he again had the chance to work with Monaco and Gibbs. Clif is a member of several student ensembles, including the Hope College OGD Trio and Jazz Arts Collective, and is the organist for the college’s gospel choir under the direction of prominent jazz vocalist, Edye Evans Hyde. He is a recipient of the Swaby Scholarship, the Freshman Music Prize, Distinguished Artist Award, and the Jazz Alliance of Mid Michigan Izenson Memorial Scholarship. His Hammond Family status has allowed him to meet and make valuable connections with jazz organ greats including the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith.
You can catch Clif with his group, Dot Org Jazz Organ Combo, as well as other groups, including Paul Carrie and the Soul Sensation, the Thirsty Perch Blues Band, Hope College OGD, and the JAMM Scholarship Trio. He can regularly be seen at festivals and pubs in Central, West and Northwest Michigan.
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