INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Monika Herzig performs Saturday at Jazz Tales Festival, Egypt
Youssra El-Hawary, accordionist, songwriter and performer, and Monika Herzig’s SHEroes, a successful pianist and composer, will continue the third edition of Jazz Tales Festival on Saturday, April 13th. Workshops, followed by concerts, will be held. Youssra El-Hawary and Monika Herzig’s SHEroes
Saturday, 13 April, 8pm
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Great Hall, 8:00 pm – Free entry
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. Oct.12, 2020 — Pianist and composer Judith Lynn Stillman, won first prize in OperaVision’s #OperaHarmony contest, for her groundbreaking short opera, Essential Business, produced remotely while in COVID-19 lockdown.
The competition was a global initiative to join creatives from around the world to rethink opera in the pandemic era, highlighting themes of connection and community. OperaVision is the online platform for Opera Europa, representing major opera companies including La Scala and The Bolshoi.
Essential Business is a powerful commentary on spirituality and the need for connection during isolation. Set during the 2020 coronavirus quarantine, Essential Business tells the story of a young pastor, as he wrestles with his faith, family, and the loss of his ministry amid the pandemic. In a moment of crisis, he reaches out to God via a Zoom call, for a modern-day confessional.
Stillman composed and performed the score and served as filmmaker/producer. The music incorporates operatic, gospel, blues, and musical theatre influences, around the story themes of religion, race and culture, the social impact of the virus, and creating music in isolation.
“For me, Essential Business captures a microcosm of the societal lockdown dilemma,” said Stillman. “Humans crave connection. Being in isolation can be devastating. To what extent do we take risks to mitigate these challenges? Is there a way to reconcile both faith and science when there can be life and death consequences?”
Stillman teamed up with Metropolitan Opera baritone, Will Liverman, who performed the role of the pastor, and U.K. artists Anna Pool and Elayce Ismail, to write the libretto and produce the 10-minute piece.
Earlier this year, Liverman was the first Black artist to play the role of Papageno in The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera. He will be a lead in the premiere of the first opera by a Black composer to be produced at the Met in 2021.
The award continues a streak of accolades for Stillman, a Juilliard trained performer, composer, filmmaker, and Rhode Island College’s artist-in-residence, whose compositions – even during COVID quarantine – have received awards from Hollywood to Cannes.
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Judith Lynn Stillman and
Friends from the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra
Sapinsley Hall, Rhode Island College
Admission is free with a suggested donation of $10
and tickets are available at the door
RI Philharmonic’s Carter Center for Music Performance & Education
667 Waterman Ave.
East Providence, RI
Judith Lynn Stillman, artistic director, and pianist
Curt Columbus, Francis Poulenc
Rachel Braude, flute
Denise Plaza-Martin, oboe
Ian Greitzer, clarinet
Kevin Owen, French horn
Ronald Haroutunian, bassoonPoulenc: Trio for Piano, Oboe, and Bassoon
Poulenc: Sonata for Flute and Piano
Poulenc: Sextet for Piano and Wind QuintetTickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students 18 and under or with a college ID,
$10 for RI Philharmonic Music School students and family members.
Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org,
in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence,
or by phone 401.248.7000 Mon-Fri, 9a-4:30p
Day of concert tickets will be available at the Carter Center starting at 7p
Questions and for information email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Five members of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, and
Trinity Rep’s Curt Columbus team up for
April in Paris with Poulenc, April 27
East Providence, RI–The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School hosts April in Paris with Poulenc: Judith Lynn Stillman and Friends from the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra with a special appearance by Trinity Repertory Company’s Curt Columbus. Pianist Stillman and Columbus perform with Orchestra members Rachel Braude, flute, Denise Plaza-Martin, oboe, Ian Greitzer, clarinet, Kevin Owen, French horn, Ronald Haroutunian, bassoon.
Together they present the premiere of Stillman’s play-within-a-concert, April in Paris with Poulenc, in which Curt Columbus is featured in the role of French composer and pianist Francis Poulenc (1899–1963). His portrayal is interlaced with the performance of three of Poulenc’s masterworks. The event is at 8 p.m. on Saturday (April 27) at the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance, 667 Waterman Ave., East Providence. (On Monday, April 22, at 1 p.m., an abridged version will be performed at Sapinsley Hall, Rhode Island College.)
“Francis Poulenc epitomizes French culture and the Parisian arts scene, from the literary café to the music hall. With Curt Columbus brilliantly inhabiting the persona of Poulenc, the composer’s extraordinary and oftentimes divergent qualities are brought to life. An eccentric, erudite, witty and colorful character, he was paradoxically both religious and risqué, saucy and serious, sublime and silly,” Stillman noted. “It’s been said that there’s a little bit of Poulenc in each of us.”
About Judith Lynn Stillman, pianist, composer and filmmaker: Judith Lynn Stillman has been hailed as an “artistic visionary,” is the Artist-in-Residence and a Professor of Music at Rhode Island College. She has performed throughout the world, at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Marlboro, Tanglewood, Grand Teton Festival and at the Grammy’s celebration in honor of Rostropovich. She has appeared with Wynton Marsalis, Borromeo, Shanghai, Muir, Cassatt and Lydian string quartets, the Beach Boys, in a BOSE commercial with Herbie Hancock, as visiting guest artist at major conservatories in China, Russia and the Czech Republic, and as music director in Rome and Verona, Italy. Winner of 18 piano competitions, the first Pell Award in the Arts, and the Christiana Carteaux Bannister Award for Civil Service in the Arts, Stillman holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School, where she won the Juilliard concerto competition and the Dethier Prize for Outstanding Pianist. Stillman, as filmmaker-composer-pianist, has garnered awards including Grand Jury Prize: Best Music Video, Best Multimedia Film, Best Music Score and Audience Choice in international film festivals in Los Angeles, Montréal, New York and the United Kingdom. Her iconic duo recording with Wynton Marsalis on Sony Classical was on the Top Ten of the Billboard charts: “Stillman and Marsalis make an impeccable duo. The playing consistently dazzles.”
About Curt Columbus, Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company. In January 2006, Curt Columbus became Trinity Repertory Company’s fifth artistic director. He is also the artistic director of the Brown/Trinity MFA programs in acting and directing.
One could argue that there is no better time than now to release this remarkable recording. Sheroes, brought together by pianist/composer Monika Herzig, features an international cast of virtuous players—all women, all first-call talents—including Reut Regev (trombone, Israel), Jennifer Vincent (trumpet, USA), Jamie Baum (flute, USA), Leni Stern (guitar, Germany/US), and drummer Rosa Avila (Mexico). Others,including Jennifer Vincent on bass, Mayra Casales on percussion and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen—round out the theme as well as the serious pedigree. Herzig does much of the writing, but Regev, Baum, and Stern all contribute compositions, alongside a few covers, including“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”and“House oft he Rising Sun.” Together, on this second recording, they are, in the broadest sense, a model of empowerment. As an ensemble, they stand unequivocally as a musical force, with deftness, invention,enthusiasm and ambition. Extraordinary stuff that deserves your attention. March is International Women’s Month!
“Passion Reverence Transcendence”
Press/Reviews: The Milford Daily News, All About Jazz Review by Geno Thackara, JazzTimes, Texas Public Radio (KSTX), Great American Jazz Piano Competition Give Him the Keys: Improv Pianist Benito Gonzalez at Twins Jazz, All About Jazz
8/27/18 JazzWeek Radio Chart: #39 Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet “Passion Reverence Transcendence
Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet
Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet
The title says all you need to know about how three musicians—Gonzalez, Gibbs and Essiet—tackle the music (and more) of legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. Pianist Benito Gonzalez, drummer Gerry Gibbs and bass player Essiet Okon Essiet rally around the music of McCoy Tyner on their new Whaling City Sound recording and the result is pure jazz joy.
Lavishly arranged and beautifully played Passion Reverence Transcendence is an unequivocal triumph of sound and spirit. Gonzalez, Gibbs, and Essiet celebrate Tyner with gusto. Gonzalez interprets Tyner’s stuff aggressively, passionately, with modern flourishes to keep pace with Gibbs’ driving rhythms. Gibbs, in typical fashion, charges into it with his brawny, supersonic jazz drumming. Essiet is critical and fabulous in his support role, diving into a blend of traditional, contemporary and fusion lines that pushes the arrangements into some seriously sparkling terrain.
Produced by Gibbs and beautifully captured, the recording feels live without the rawness.
And it’s all ridiculously high energy. The trio doesn’t bother kicking back much. Gibbs and Essiet drive the opening tunes, “Fly With the Wind” and “Just Feelin’,” along with “The Greeting,” which features a nice interlude from Essiet. Some of it’s playful, like “Inner Glimpse,” which finds Gonzalez and Gibbs holding onto the rhythmic motif while Essiet dances playfully around. After digging into nine Tyner compositions, the three artists each contribute one of their own tunes to close the record. Essiet launches into the wryly elaborate “Tyner/Train Express” and Gibbs serves up the stylish, bluesy jazz of “Between Friends.” The closer, Gonzalez’s “Brazilian Girls,” explodes with melody about a minute in and spends the rest of its seven-minute length making good on that initial promise. While they are not Tyner compositions per se, they are in the spirit of the great pianist and they settle in nicely with the compositions that came before it on the recording.
Together, the trio embraces, and even supercharges Tyner’s vibe without succumbing to cliches. The material is always melodic, always together, thanks to the dexterity and high energy you’d expect from each of these musicians. They’ve proven themselves on their independent projects, and they prove themselves on Passion Reverence Transcendence: The Music of McCoy Tyner.687606010222_SalesSheet