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Jamm Session Lauren Rongo

Lauren Rongo-flute

Adam Rongo-sax

Terry Newman-bass

Ian Levine- drums

Arlene Bio

Arlene is an experienced jazz pianist, performing and teaching in the Mid-Michigan area and beyond for over 3 decades. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory & Composition from MSU in 1984. Arlene performs at a variety of venues as a soloist, combo leader, and side woman. Notable artists include clarinetist Dave Bennett, vocalist Sunny Wilkinson, The Lansing Symphony Jazz Band, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Pied Pipers, and the Frankie Valli touring group Let's Hang On. Arlene is on the adjunct faculty at Hillsdale College as a jazz piano instructor and member of the faculty jazz ensemble The Hillcats. She also is on faculty at the MSU Community Music School, and teaches out of her home studio. Arlene’s CD (Timeless, 2009) has received airplay nationwide and is currently available online or from the artist. The bulk of the recording contains original compositions.


Lauren Rongo has been performing in various groups since 1972. She has been in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic; New York Sinfonia; Brooklyn Philharmonia; Hoffmeister Winds; Midland Symphony; Saginaw Eddy Band; SVSU Faculty Woodwind Quintet; and Flutee a professional flute quartet. Lauren performed for over 30 years with her husband Tony in Nova Jazz. In 1979 they won the Eubie Blake Award in NYC and performed at Lincoln Center. After Tony passed on Lauren continued to perform and met her husband David who she attended MSU where she got her degree in flute performance. She then performed in Shenanigans and has recently started her own jazz group - Viva Jazz.

Adam Rongo

Up and coming alto saxophonist, Adam Rongo has been playing music since childhood. He attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, and quickly took to jazz. He then moved to Chicago to study with Mike Smith, an alto saxophonist who has shared the stage with Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., Nat Adderley, and many others. Adam holds a Masters degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University, where he studied with Diego Rivera, Rodney Whitaker, Etienne Charles, and Michael Dease.

While at MSU, Adam received a scholarship to attend the Keep An Eye Summer Jazz Workshop in Amsterdam to study with Dick Oatts. In 2012 Adam placed 2nd in the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, was selected as a finalist at the North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Competition in Tempe Arizona, and also received a Downbeat Student Music Award as an Outstanding Soloist in the Graduate category.

Adam has since moved to New York City, and has quickly established a reputation as both a sideman and band leader. He has performed with a variety of great musicians, including Michael Dease and Ulysses Owens Jr., at well known venues such as Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. He recently released his debut album, "Tell Your Story" on the D-Clef Record Label in October of 2013. The album features stellar musicians, including: Michael Dease, Etienne Charles, Emmet Cohen, Randy Napoleon, Behn Gillece, Ulysses Owens Jr. and Rodney Whitaker.

"I truly feel that this debut recording of Adam Rongo is going to send a message to the Jazz world that the spirit of so many great voices on the Alto Saxophone is alive, well, and in great hands!" - Ulysses Owens Jr.

Ian LeVine

Percussionist Ian LeVine has acumulated over 40 years of musical performance experience. Ian has been an active member of the mid-Michigan arts community since 1979. Known as a versatile and supportive player, Ian has appeared throughout the midwest in wide-ranging musical circumstances involving regional jazz festivals including those at Aquinas College, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Montreux-Detroit, Schoolcraft College, The Michigan Festival, Lansing Old Town, East Lansing Summer Solstice and Flint; at The Grand Hotel with the Jimmy Dorsey and Legends of Swing big bands to local banquet halls, rock and jazz bars with combos; professional and community theaters and houses of worship; to Spartan Stadium and the Breslin Center with the MSU alumni band. Present involvements include ongoing freelance gigging; continuation as a founding member of the Arlene McDaniel trio and quintet; pit work with the Lansing Community College theater department; facilitating Lansing area drum circles; co-producing Mike Daniels’ annual LaBatterie drum show at LCC; local performance as a member of classic rock/pop group “The Capital Sundogs”, roots music band “The Further Adventure of Fat Boy and Jive Turkey,” and drummer for acclaimed Michigan crooner Ryan DeHues. Ian can be heard on recordings by Southeastern Michigan vocalist Danielle Blanchard - “Jazz Portrait” (2001), The Arlene McDaniel Trio – “Timeless” (2009), Grand Rapids vocalist Kat Jones’ “Movin’ On” (2018) and with Lansing area singer/songwriter Barb Barton (eponymous 2018).

Terry Newman