Kenji Kikuchi, composer, saxophonist and music educator, has appeared as a performer internationally, including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Montreux Jazz Festival. He has performed with many jazz greats, including Joshua Redman, Richard Davis, Abraham Laboriel, Jr., Greg Hopkins and Joe Hunt. He is an active performer in the style of classical and jazz on not only his primary instrument, saxophone, but also on flute and clarinet.
Mr. Kikuchi is also an accomplished composer of contemporary classical music. He had several of his works premiered, including Overture for Orchestra and Saxophone Concerto by the Quincy Symphony; Marimba Concerto and Prelude for Orchestra by the Melrose Symphony; and Cape Ann Overture by the Cape Ann Symphony. He has also published Astronomy I, II (Finalist, National Flute Association Newly Published Piece, 2002), Quartet No. 2 (Winner, National Flute Association Newly Published Piece, 1998) and Airmail Edition with Falls House Press; and Sonata for Flute and Piano and Piece for Solo Piano with BKJ Publications. His compositions and arrangements have been performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Boston Symphony Hall.
As a music educator, Mr. Kikuchi has been directing Soul Sauce, the Groton School Jazz Ensemble, for thirteen years, and he provides opportunities to young musicians to learn both performing with harmony in a group and developing their individual voices through jazz music. He joined the Joy of Music faculty in the fall of 2017.
Vladimir Vaskevich received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Stolyarsky School of Music and his Master of Music degree from Odessa State Conservatory (Ukraine). He was a member of the Odessa Opera Orchestra and the Odessa Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (clarinet and saxophone) as well as leader and arranger of ensembles for the Odessa City Music Entertainment Company. In addition to his classical performing, he participated in Jazz Festivals through Russia and the Ukraine, including performances in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Vladimir also served on the faculty at the Odessa State Musical College for sixteen years before emigrating to the United States.
Vladimir and his wife, violinist Svitlana Kovalenko, have been performing together for many years as the “Romantic Duo”, sharing their music at many organizational events, family celebrations, retirement communities and nursing homes throughout the region. Vladimir teaches clarinet and saxophone for Clark University’s Neighborhood Music Program, the Wachusett Regional School District’s after school music program and has been on Joy of Music’s faculty since 2006.