Beyond NY: Jazz Music for Two Pianos with Fred Hersch and Sullivan Fortner

Beyond NY: Jazz Music for Two Pianos with Fred Hersch and Sullivan Fortner

Catskill Jazz Factory brings great music to Bard College 

This partnership of two great pianists is promising to make a delightful night full of fresh perspectives on contemporary jazz. Each musician brings a distinct style and artistic excellence while being true the roots of his style. Merging these two creative personalities playing the music of Fred Hersh, Thelonious Monk, Cole Porter and others is not an easy fit. But it will surely be refreshing and exciting. 

double piano jazz concert bard college ny October 2017
Fred Hersch / Photo credit Vincent Soyez

Fred Hersch is a celebrated figure on the international jazz scene. He came to fame in 1984 when he debuted with Horizons. His very elegant style of introspective and emotionally rich music is gaining in its depth with each appearance and recording. His trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson enjoys a fruitful collaboration and maintains a demanding live performance and recording schedule. The New York Times review of the trio performance at the Vanguard back in 2012 described their style as “the incremental stretch toward an elusive ideal”.
double piano jazz concert bard college ny October 2017A celebrated pianist and a bandleader, Hersch is also a well-known composer and jazz educator. Being nominated for ten Grammy awards, the last two in 2017, and named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist puts Hersch at the top of the list of contemporary jazz musicians. His very personal story of near-death health crisis, a remarkable come-back and an openness about his experiences all contribute to his very distinct status among the musicians. A profile in the WallStreetJournal by Ted Gioia calls this return to life “a miracle” which brought Hersch music to the level “that doesn’t get any better than this”. Hirsch’s latest album Open Book was released in September 2017.

double piano jazz concert bard college ny October 2017
Sullivan Fortner / Image source

Sullivan Fortner, a 2015 Cole Porter Jazz Fellow with the American Pianists Association, brings in the vibe of his generation to this fascinating partnership. Also a leader of his own band, The Sullivan Fortner Trio, who are performing extensively, Fortner had played with vibraphonist Stefon Harris and the trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Etienne Charles and toured with major jazz collectives of today.
double piano jazz concert bard college ny October 2017Graduating from Oberlin Music Conservatory with bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and master’s from Manhattan School of Music, Fortner is recognized for his youthful energy mixed with the disciplined maturity.  A review in the New York Times of his “Aria” album release stresses that “his fundamentals as a player could hardly be stronger”.

The concert at Richard B. Fischer Center for Performing Arts at Bard College located on a picturesque campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY is organized by an innovative educational and performance art community the Catskill Jazz Factory. Bard College is well-known for its rigorous art education program and the best in class roster of music performances in upstate NY. Only two hours away from hustle and bustle of New York City, the campus is sufficiently insulated for full concentration and study, yet affords a convenience of being accessible via train connection to the city.

The Richard B. Fisher Center is an architectural jewel in itself being designed by Frank Gehry and hosting a multitude of adventurous programs at the world-class facilities.

Book the tickets  here.

Venue: Richard B. Fisher Center, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Dates: October 7, 2017

Places to eat around Bard College.


Jazz in NYC: Norah Jones at Le Poisson Rouge in September, 2017

Jazz in NYC: Norah Jones at Le Poisson Rouge in September, 2017

Norah Jones with Brian Blade & Chris Thomas at LPG on September 10-14, 2017

Jazz in NYC Norah Jones at Le Poisson Rouge in September 2017
Norah Jones performs in 2010
Photo Credit: Larry Philpot,

Norah Jones will perform in the informal and cozy settings of (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, NYC on September 10-14, 2017. Her presence on the global music scene had been established overnight after she won 5 Grammys for the album “Come away with me” released in 2002 by the Blue Note Records label. In all she is a 9 times Grammy award winner.

Jones delicate singing is rightfully falling into jazz fusion category for her mixing of jazz, country and intelligent pop. The FT review of her performance at 2016 London Jazz Festival at the London Palladium points out that “her success in selling nearly 50m records over her career has been in spite of prevailing trends”. This falling in between of the pre-defined musical genres makes Jones style so distinct and precious to those looking for new sounds.

Jones grew up in Grapevine, Texas. Born to a family of American concert producer Sue Jones and Indian sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, she was singing in church and taking piano lessons from yearly on in her life. The music of such jazz masters as Billie Holiday and Bill Evans had particularly strong influence on her. So it was not a coincidence that she had graduated from University of North Texas majoring in jazz piano.

In the years that followed the release of “Come away with me”, she deviated from jazz into country and soul music accompanying herself on guitar. Her returning to jazz for the 2014 Newport Jazz festival on Rhode Island was very well received by the fans with tickets sales topping the charts.

Her latest album “Day Breaks” released in 2016 features Jones firmly following her jazz and piano roots. For this project she has teamed up with such prominent musicians as the saxophonist Wayne Shorter and the bassist John Patitucci. In the words of the New York Times review of her 2016 tours and album release “rather than making some sort of prodigal return, she was accessing her musical core”.

The performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge will be a delight for the music fans!

Book your tickets on Le Poisson Rouge website.

You can find more information about Norah Jones and her upcoming tours here.

Venue: (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NY                                     Dates: September 10-14, 2017

Jazz in NYC: John Pizzarelli Sinatra & Jobim @ 50 at Birdland

Jazz in NYC: John Pizzarelli Sinatra & Jobim @ 50 at Birdland

Celebrating with Daniel Jobim and Jessica Molaskey half-centennial of Sinatra / Jobim recording 

Jazz in NYC John Pizzarelli Sinatra & Jobim @ 50 Birdland
John Pizzarelli; CC BY-SA 3.0,


Soft melodies of jazz standards performed by a well recognized guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli in the company of an equally renowned jazz singer Jessica Molaskey and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s grandson Daniel Jobim will make for an unforgettable summer night!  The concerts are a celebration of 50 year anniversary of the recording made by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Sinatra frequented a bar in Rio where Jobim had performed regularly, and this was how the timeless collaboration came to life.

An album to honor the anniversary is already released but what can beat the power of live performance at the Birdland?

John Pizzarelli comes from a family of New Jersey swing guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli well known in his own rights and still performing with John and his wife jazz-singer and actress Jessica Molasky. John credits Bucky as his most important teacher guiding his musical and professional career.

In the newly released album Pizzarelli masterly mixes the songs on the original recording done by Sinatra and Jobim in 1967 with those that were not included on it. That original album had “transported Brazilian music into stratospheric heights where it remains to the present day” in the words of Nick Catalano from

The master of romantic ballades and sensible interpretation of classical tunes, Pizzarelli’s return to Birdland is highly anticipated. The audiences know his gentle sense of humor and warmth of his music. Its no wonder that “@50” album is described in The Times  as  “sentimental rather than slavish” with the “songs that weren’t on the Sinatra album coming off best”. You will enjoy Bossa Nova classics like Girl from Ipanema and many more.

You can make reservations here.

Venue: 315 W 44 Street, NY                                             Dates: August 8-12, 2017