Home Riverhead Central School District Riverhead High School ‘Music Masters’ students to perform in concert with Bakithi Kumalo tonight
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‘Music Masters’ students to perform in concert with Bakithi Kumalo tonight

Jacob Nitto, left, and Nikita Sipiagin. Courtesy photo

Riverhead High School musicians Jacob Nitti and Nikita Sipiagin, who recently participated in the East End Arts Music Masters program with renowned musician Bakithi Kumalo will perform in a concert led by Kumalo on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

Kumalo, currently the artist in residence at East End Arts, is a  South African bassist, composer and vocalist who worked with Paul Simon on his groundbreaking and award-winning “Graceland” album. He has also worked with a wide variety of artists including Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte and Cyndi Lauper.

Nitti, a bassist and Sipiagin, who plays alto sax, are both sophomores and members of the Riverhead High School jazz band, directed by Jason Rottkamp. They were two of 14 students chosen from audition tapes to participate in the six-week, tuition-free Music Masters program. Kumalo taught the young musicians rehearsal and performance skills and shared insights about recording, marketing, composing, and songwriting.

“It’s been a great pleasure to work with an amazing musician like Bakithi,” said Jacob. “He really knows his stuff, and it was great to have him show us what the music business is all about.”

The Music Masters program is in its sixth year and offers Long Island high school students the opportunity to work with top performers and composers. 

The  Feb. 11 concert from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. General admission tickets are $10.

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