Each year, the Legends of Jazz Series held at Williamsville East High School has brought exceptional jazz artists to conduct Masterclasses and to perform in concert as their Guest Artist. This year is no exception. The superlative jazz pianist Bill Charlap will be joining the school’s orchestra and jazz ensemble in concert, which will take place on May 19th beginning at 7:30 pm.
The series prepared the following write-up that gives us the good story of Bill Charlap:
One of the world’s premiere jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein, and George Gershwin. Lyricists Alan & Marilyn Bergman have said, "Bill Charlap's playing is unique, warm and intelligent. He not only plays the melody – he also plays the lyric. And, for lyric writers, that's as good as it gets."
In 1997, Charlap formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. In 2000, he was signed to Blue Note Records and has since received two Grammy Award nominations, for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard. In 2009, Charlap was the pianist and musical director for The Blue Note 7, an all-star jazz septet celebrating the legacy of Blue Note Records on its 70th anniversary. The septet performed a 50-city tour and released the CD, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records. Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap are the recipients of a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop album, for their 2015 release, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern.
Charlap is the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92Y, in New York City. The year 2016 will mark his 12th anniversary as artistic director. He has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center and an evening of George Gershwin’s music at the Hollywood Bowl. Charlap's long-awaited new recording debuts on Impulse Renaissance Records. THE BILL CHARLAP TRIO: NOTES FROM NEW YORK features the trio (with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington) in peak performance, and was recorded immediately following a two-week run at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.
Born in New York City, Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” In 2005, Charlap and Stewart released the acclaimed CD, Love Is Here To Stay (Blue Note). Charlap is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes. The two artists often collaborate in a duo piano setting. In 2010, Charlap and Rosnes released Double Portrait (Blue Note).
On a personal note, I saw Bill Charlap in a very memorable concert last year in New York City. An intricate and mesmerizing pianist he is. He has just released a new CD entitled Notes From New York. This is Charlap’s debut album on Impulse. Featured in this trio are Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on bass. This trio, forming The Bill Charlap Trio, has been around for a long time and their symbiotic “unspoken language” between each other is evident – and what makes them great. Here is the promo video from Impulse on the new album:
Joining Bill Charlap for his guest appearance will be Wayne Moose on bass and Dan Hull on drums. Wayne Moose has been a teacher for 15 years at Williamsville East and he currently conducts Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble; teaches theory, composition, chamber ensembles, and jazz improvisation; and conducts the pit orchestra for the musicals at Williamsville East High School in addition to being the co-developer of the Legends of Jazz Series.
All tickets are reserved seating and cost $16.50, available starting Monday, April 18. The concert takes place 7:30pm Thursday, May 19, 2016, at Williamsville East High School, 151 Paradise Rd., E. Amherst NY 14051.
The Legends of Jazz concerts traditionally sell out, so advance purchase is highly recommended. Reserve your tickets at www.ticketpeak.com/wmb. For more information, contact WEHS Music at 716-626-8425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can, get out to see this giant of jazz in support of the high school program. An ongoing effort to keep jazz alive in our schools!
Keep Jazz Alive in WNY!!!