Jake Epstein Music Site


      J. Epstein                    F.C. Tillis




Dr. Frederick C. Tillis 1930-2020

 I received an email from Dr Tillis' daughter Pam abou the passing of my mentor, teacher and friend. I hadn't stopped by to see him since we celebrated his work at Old Chapel in March 2019. Over the years I had stayed in touch and provided assistance with his beloved "Jazz in July" program. I have known, studied and worked with Dr Tillis since 1972 when he offered me a Graduate Teaching Fellowship at UMass, Amherst . It is just impossible to highlight all that I have experienced with the Professor over the past 38 years. His legacy will live on through his life experience with students, colleagues, fans and friends. I am sure that he is now with his cherished wife Louise and for Pat and Pam, I love you. -From Jake Epstein

For more information please click on the following links.

Dr. Frderick C. Tillis Memorial Campaign 

Umass, Amherst, Fine Arts Center tribue page

Dr Tillis Web Site 

 Umass Department of Music and Dance Page

 New York Times Article 

 Please use your preferred search engine to locate many other tributes to Dr. Tillis 



Mrs. Edna Louise Dillon Tillis

  Mrs Louise Tillis was a very close friend to many. What I remember was her wit and charm and her incredible grasp of so many topics. We oftent sat in her TV room along with her husband and my mentor Dr. Fred Tillis and discussed a wide range of topics. I miss seeing her on my visits to Amherst.

 During her memorial service, I performed Amazing Grace on flute along with Professor Jeff Holmes on Piano. Later at her final resting place, I performed spirituals on the  flute.

To see a .pdf of her service program please click on the following link.

Service Program (.pdf) 




Dr. Billy Taylor                 

 Dr. Billy Taylor was master at all of his Endeavors. I got to work with him on the "Jazz in July" summer program at UMass, Amherst,

He was a friend to everyone he met from a single mom studying in the program to collegues from so many spectrums. Click on the following link to the program that many of us attended at the Riverside Church in Manhattan.




 Service Program (.pdf)





One of my closest friends and mentors at the University of Massachusetts was Dr Horace Boyer. Probably the greatest testament to his memory was his students' love for him and his work and his love for his students.

We had so many experiences together many of which are highlighted in the program linked here:

Program - Dr. Horace Clarence Boyer

A musical event that exemplified our work is available at:

In A Sentimental Mood, UMASS Amherst 1975.


Many of my musical colleagues have heard me speak about my education and work at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

One of the greatest experiences and honors for me was working my mentors Dr. Fred Tillis, Master Percussionist Professor Max Roach and Dr. Horace Boyer and so many colleagues, students and fans.

Please go to this link for a .pdf of our tribute to Prof. Roach after his passing on August 16, 2007. Tomorrow, August 16, 2018, marks the 11th year anniversary of his passing. Its totally by coincidence alone that prompted me to post this information.

Max Roach Tribute


Jazz Improvisation and Tonal Music, a booklet by Jake Epstein, is available for download at:

Jazz Improvisation and Total Music


We will be performing at Quattro's Italian Restaurant in Guilford on July 1, 2018.

This is part of Dr G.'s Jazz Brunch series that occurs on the First and Third Sundays of the month.

Gary Grippo, Jeff Fuller, Barry Reis and Jake Epstein will be performing along with Special Guests. Guest performers welcome for the the second and third sets.

Please visit https://www.quattrositalian.com for directions and additional information.


Video Recordings from the May 17, 2017 performances at the Shamrock are available via the following Link.

Amanda at the Shamrock


At the March 20th performance at the Shamrock in Waterbury of the Harold Zinno Big Band featuring Vocalist Amanda Bellitto, Jake Epstein anounced our developing a recording project. This will feature vocals by Amanda perforning arrangements by Jake Epstein.

We hope that many our fans and friends will help by contributing and promoting the project and events assoicated with it.

Please stay tuned for updates.


I had the honor and pleasure of recording on Flute with Jayne McKnack Manning this fall at Norman Johnsons' Manor Studios in Middletown. Charles Weyant (tenor Sax), Joe McWilliams (Piano), Lou Bocciarelli (Bass) and Tom Palinko (drums) were also on the date.

Jayne McKnack Manning will be performing with Dr G's Brunch at "Kelly's on Crown" (196 Crown Street) in New Haven on Sunday January 16. Hope to see you there!

Jayne McKnack Manning's current Album is named "I Wish You Love". Its available on Cd Baby and individual tracks are available on You Tube.

Check out the following Youtube links for selections from the CD..

"I'll Close My Eyes"
"I wish You Love"



A new album by the Jake Epstein Jazz Quartet featuring Amanda Bellitto has been released.

The "But Beautiful" album was record in July 2014 at the Manor Studio in Middletown CT and was release on October 1, 2014.


  • Amanda Bellitto - Vocals
  • Jake Epstein - Tenor Sax and Flute
  • Joe McWilliams - Piano
  • Dave Daddario - Bass
  • Barry Ries - Drums

  • Norman Johnson - Recording Engineer
  • Amie Rosenblum - Cover Photo
  • Colleen Tully - Album Artwork Template
  • Rick Billetto - Studio Artwork
  • The album is dedicated to Sheila Jordan.

    Our colleague, mentor, teacher, friend and inspiration. Amanda Bellitto studied with her at "Jazz in July" at Umass, Amherst and the "Litchfield Jazz Camp". Jake Epstein and Barry Ries have taught and performed with her at "Jazz in July".

    Sample Tracks can be heard and CDs or Digital Downloads can be purchased at CD Baby.

    Digital Downloads are also avails for purchase at Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

    A video clip with photos and sample tracks is available at Youtube.

    A stream of the sample tracks can be heard at SoundCloud.