Newton Piano Summit

COVID-19 has changed our world and for artists who depended greatly on live performances for income, the impact is devastating. The Newton Piano Summit is committed to helping these artists by paying for their performances. 100% of revenue is paid to the performers. You can make a tax-deductible donation through the Waban Improvement Society by clicking here.

2020 Series is ONLINE Saturdays at 4pm

Upcoming performances:

May 30th, 4 pm Alexei Tsiganov

June 6th, 4 pm Rodney Whitaker with special guests

Last year our returning artists were George Russell Jr. and Wes Wirth Global Ensemble. This year Yoko Miwa was our returning artist.  Joining us for the first time was internationally recognized vibraphonist/pianist Warren Wolf, and Boston legend Maxim Lubarsky with Bertram Lehmann. 

Click on these links to see the concerts on: FaceBook or YouTube

 

In continuing our mission to enhance the quality of life in our community, the WIS began the Newton Piano Summit with the goal of bringing the finest artists available to perform concerts free to the public. Now going on our 5th year, we are proud of our success and being joined by others including the Newton and Massachusetts Cultural Councils, The Paul & Edith Babson Foundation, the Village Bank, and Advance Auto in Nonantum to help underwrite this series.  This year the concerts will take place online.
If Music were an Olympic sport, all of the artists presented at the Newton Piano Summit would be gold medalists. The Summit is our newest tradition from the Waban Improvement Society presenting professional world-class artists in an intimate setting – entirely free to the public. Join the Summit Facebook page to keep alerted to videos and performances.  



Performers are selected from an A-list of recognized artists from the New England and New York Area. Their reputations often include decades of experience performing at International Festivals and venues as headliners and/or with other recognized performers, numerous awards and recordings, and availability. Sometimes someone new is highly recommended and we are lucky to catch a rising star! If you would like to help out and donate to the event you can contribute online with the button below or you can contact Chris Pitts or anyone with the WIS. Videos of all previous performance are available here. 




 

May 23rd, 1-3 Debo Ray and Nando Michelin & Ebinho Cardoso

 

And now for something completely different! We are so lucky to have Debo Ray grace our small venue and take the Newton Piano Summit in yet another direction.

Debo Ray is a leading vocalist in Boston and New York’s elite jazz and world music circles. A composer at heart, Debo has the ability to work as a musician thinking forward, while maintaining terrific focus on the sound being made in the present. She takes influences from her predecessors as well as from her international tours to create a sound that feels both relatable and universal. After graduating from Berklee College of Music is 2013, Debo has made a name for herself as a musician who blends theory with emotion in her performances.

Debo is also a spirited and cooperative collaborator, having shared stages with multiple Grammy award winners such as Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding, Antonio Sanchez, and Terri Lyne Carrington. She is featured in Carrington’s latest project, Social Science, which features other prolific musicians Aaron Parks and Matt Stevens, as well as Esperanza Spalding and Marcus Jamal Warner, among many others. Debo is also well known as a featured vocalist and music director of the award-winning, critically acclaimed group, Women of the World, who regularly tours internationally and has performed on such stages as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Newport Jazz Festival.

Debo Ray is uniquely attuned to the ways in which the voice can be used to elevate musical experiences beyond music theory and has the ability to bring about a more creative, and more exciting music force in her music. It is her mission to spread the joy of music without compromising skill and musical nuance.

Featured with her today is her new group that explores the fusion of Jazz with R&B and Hip Hop sensibilities.

 

Nando Michelin & Ebinho Cardoso

 

Presenting music from their recent CD featuring songs using poems by Manoel de Barros. Their music, deeply rooted in the tradition of Brazilian Popular Music and Jazz, builds on the beauty of the simple things just like De Barros intended in his poems.
Nando Michelin
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Nando came to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. After graduating, he studied with Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, and Danilo Perez. His discography includes Facing South and Common Grounds for Brownstone, Art, Chants, Live at the AJC, and When Einstein Dreams for Double Time, Duende, featuring Esperanza Spalding, for Fresh Sound, Reencontro independently, and Entre Amigos with guitarist Claudio Ragazzi. The duo Ragazzi-Michelin has performed at the Wang Center and Kimmel Center for the Arts among other places.
Ebhino Cardoso
Ebinho Cardoso is a virtuoso on his instrument. Due to the uniqueness of his music and technique, he is one of the most respected Brazilian bassists. Composer, arranger, singer and producer, Ebinho uses atypical elements of the electric bass, showing its range of possibilities. In addition to playing the bass as an accompanying instrument or as a solo instrument, he has found a unique way of playing chords on the bass that characterize his playing style; a style that combines precision and refinement. In part, he is able to achieve his sound by tuning his instrument in new ways and at higher pitches. His music blends traces of jazz with the idiosyncrasies of classical music interwoven with the rich sounds of his native Brazil.

May 30th, 1-2:30 PM Alexei Tsiganov

Alexei needs no introduction from those who know the New England/New York scene.  At 17, Alexei was working at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and by 1991 he had arrived in the USA to begin a career that now spans genres and continents. His prowess has made him a first call among top names in jazz including Claudio Roditi, Antonio Sanchez, Chico Freeman, Esperanza Spalding, Bob Moses and Greg Osby. We are so pleased to have him return to the Summit.

 

May 9th, 1-2:30 PM Rodney Whitaker & Special Guests

Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker is one of the world’s renowned double bass performers, educators, mentors and is dedicated to inspiring and growing the next generation of jazz educators and musicians.  A Detroit native, he grew up in the city soaking in the sounds of jazz and classical music and working with the finest musicians in the city.  Building on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Whitaker went on to earn an international reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz double bass performers. He completed a seven-year tenure as bassist with the Wynton Marsalis’ Sextet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has toured the world over the last twenty-six years, collaborating with over 100+ legendary performing jazz artists such as Dianne Reeves, Hank Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Junko Onishi, Yutaka Shiina, Kenny Burrell, Diana Krall, John Lewis, Kathleen Battle, Marian McPartland, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Garrett, Bradford Marsalis, Bob James, Roy Hargrove, Jon Carl Hendricks, Tommy Flanagan, Frank Morgan, Terence Blanchard, Betty “Be-Bop” Carter, Chick Corea, and leading symphony orchestras across the world—just to name a few. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences.  Featured on more than 100+ recordings – from film to compact discs – Whitaker’s film scores, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS Fall 2002 and Malaria and Malawi, released on PBS Fall 2010.  Also, Whitaker has a DVD release featuring Michigan State University’s Jazz Department entitled, “Inside Jazz” and three new compact discs entitled, “Get Ready” & “Work To Do”—both on Mack Avenue Records and “Better Than Alright” by Michigan State University College of Music. In 2011, he was nominated for an EMMY for the ‘Original Music’ category, “Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children” produced by Robert Gould and Sue Carter.  Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer and Alan Jones on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records and was nominated for a Juno Award in 2006 for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year, Canada’s equivalent to the United State of America’s Grammy.  He is a full professor of jazz double bass and director of jazz studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree-granting programs offering both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Jazz Performance.

 

May 9th, 1-2:30 PM Yoko Miwa and Maxim Lubarsky

 

“Pianist Yoko Miwa displays unpretentious melodies, elegant phrasing, and the lyrical sensibility of a jazz poet.”Jazziz Magazine
“She has the enviable ability to play in any context with authenticity, clarity, and spontaneity…” -Wilbert Sostre, JazzTimes
Internationally acclaimed pianist/composer Yoko Miwa is quickly becoming known as one of the most powerful and compelling performers on the scene today. Her trio – with its remarkable telepathy and infectious energy – has brought audiences to their feet worldwide. Of Miwa’s 2017 release Pathways, Dan McClenaghan of All About Jazz said, “4 stars–This is Yoko Miwa at her extroverted best…her finest recording to date.” Pathways – her seventh as a leader – which spent 4 weeks on the Jazz Week top 10 radio charts and is earning wide critical acclaim.
Miwa was the subject of a feature article in the September 2017 issue of DownBeat that referenced her “impressive technique and a tuneful lyricism that combines an Oscar Peterson-ish hard swing with Bill Evans-like introspection.”She plays regularly at major jazz clubs in their home city of Boston, as well as venues around the world. A favorite of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Miwa was chosen to play on “Marian McPartland & Friends.” Miwa also appears regularly at New York’s famed Blue Note Jazz Club and has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of jazz greats including Sheila Jordan, Slide Hampton, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kevin Mahogany, John Lockwood and Johnathan Blake among others. In the late 1990s, the classically-trained artist auditioned for Berklee College of Music on a lark and ended up winning a full scholarship. She arrived at the school from her homeland of Japan in 1997, intending to stay for a year. In 2017, she’s still in Boston, enriching the city’s musical life and serving as one of the most popular professors in the Berklee piano department.

Dr. Brad Barrett is a Boston based bassist and has been a collaborator with Yoko Miwa since 2010.  Brad holds a BA in Music from Michigan State University, a Master’s in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory Brad has recently completed his doctorate at New England Conservatory and has just released his first album as a leader called “Cowboy Transfiguration” with Tyshawn Sorey and Joe Morris.

 

 

Drummer Scott Goulding has appeared as a sideman on over 50 CD releases on labels in the US, Europe and Japan, including 4 releases with tenor saxophone legend Jerry Bergonzi. He was a featured performer at the 2018 Atlanta Jazz Festival, the 2018 Litchfield Jazz Festival, and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2011 Coca-Cola Generations Jazz Festival recorded for Marian McPartland’s NPR show Piano Jazz. Scott has performed in such notable venues as The Blue Note in NYC, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC, Cotton Club in Tokyo, Japan, and The Blue Note in Nagoya, Japan. Additionally, he has toured throughout the United States and internationally, and has performed with Sheila Jordan, George Garzone, Larry Grenadier, Jerry Bergonzi, Joanne Brackeen, Michel Camillo, Kevin Mahogany, Charles Neville, Jeremy Pelt, Hiromi, Anat Cohen, Lionel Loueke, Avishai Cohen, Rudresh Manthappa, He also plays with piano legend Harvey Diamond in his trio. Scott is an endorser for Zildjian Cymbals and Canopus Drums. Since 2015, Scott has held the position of Music Director at Monkfish, one of the area’s top jazz venues.

 

Maxim Lubarsky
“Here you have a marvelously endowed talent. This is the musicianship and artistic sensitivity at its highest level. Of such ingredients are great musical memories made and lives enriched thereby”  – Joyce Miller (The Item, Sumter, SC)
A native of Odessa Ukraine, Maxim Lubarsky is a virtuoso at the piano. A vivid performer, blending together various musical styles, Maxim takes you on a journey that mergers Jazz creativity with European lyricism and rhythms of South America. Maxim’s performances are known for the spirited and captivating improvisations, interplay and spontaneity. When not performing locally, he tours nationally and internationally with concerts and masterclasses. For more information visit www.maximlubarsky.com

 

May 16th, 1-2:30 Warren Wolf

 

 

Warren Wolf is a multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore, MD. From the young age of three years old, Warren has been trained on the Vibraphone/Marimba, Drums, and Piano. Under the guidance of his father Warren Wolf Sr., Warren has a deep background in all genres of music.
Beginning with classical music, Warren had studied classical composers from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Paganini, Brahms, Vivaldi and Shostakovich. Warren also studied ragtime music learning music from the songbooks of Scott Joplin, Harry Brewer and Geroge Hamilton Green. In Jazz, Warren has studied artist and composers from Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, Cal Tjader, Return to Forever, Weather Report, Wynton Marsalis and many others.
At Berklee, Warren studied with Carribean Jazz Vibraphonist Dave Samuels for seven of eight semesters. During this time, Warren began to explore deeper into jazz. Some musicians who’ve helped Warren reach his musical goal were musicians such as Jeremy Pelt, John Lamkin, Darren Barrett, Wayne Escoffery, Richard Johnson, Kendrick Scott, Walter Smith, Jason Palmer, Rashawn Ross and many others. Warren became an active performer around the Boston area, gigging frequently on the Vibraphone, Drums and Piano. One of the highlights of Warren’s stay in Boston was co-leading a quintet with Boston-based trumpeter Jason Palmer at the historic jazz club Wallys Cafe. Warren was also the house drummer at Wallys for two years, performing every Friday and Saturday.
Warren is currently the drummer of choice for Alto Saxophonist Tia Fuller, who tours with internationally renowned pop star Beyonce Knowles. Warren is also a member of the Donal Fox Group which includes bassist John Lockwood and drummers Dafnis Preito and Terri Lyne Carrington. He has performed throughout the United States of America, South America, Canada, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Scotland, London, Greece, Singapore, Thailand, Jarkata, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow and many other countries.
Warren has several recordings as a leader. Warren’s first two records are on the M&I label which is based in Japan. The first record is titled “Incredible Jazz Vibes” which features Mulgrew Miller on Piano, Vicente Archer on Bass and Kendrick Scott on Drums. The second record is titled “Black Wolf”. That record features Mulgrew Miller on Piano, Rodney Whitaker on Bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts on Drums. Warren has a self-produced CD which is titled “RAW”. That record features Darren Barrett on Trumpet, Walter Smith on Tenor Saxophone, Jason Palmer on Trumpet, Plume on Alto Saxophone, Kris Funn on Bass, Peter Slavov on Bass, Lawrence Fields on Piano/Fender Rhodes and Charles “Dogg” Haynes on Drums. On “RAW” Warren performs on both the Vibraphone and Drums. The fourth recording is titled Warren “Chano Pozo” Wolf featuring Tim Green on Alto Saxophone, Lawrence Fields on Piano/Fender Rhodes, John Lamkin on Drums, Dana Hawkins on Drums, Kris Funn on Bass, Louis Cato on Electric Bass, Delandria Mills on Flute, Tabreeca Woodside on Vocals and Integriti Reeves on Vocals. Warren has recently signed to the Mack Ave recording label.
Musicians that Warren has played with or recorded with are Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Pelt and “Creation”, Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield, Adonis Rose, Donal Fox, Anthony Wonsey, Aaron Goldberg, Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash, Willie Jones, Eric Reed, Mulgrew Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Yoron Israel, Larry Willis, David “Fathead” Newman, Stefon Harris, Reuben Rogers, Kevin Eubanks, Curtis Lundy, Steve Davis, Duane Eubanks, Ron Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spaulding and many others.

2019 Series

George Russell Jr. and Yoko Miwa

Yoko and George

 

Our returning artist from the previous season, George Russell Jr.’s playing is filled with passion, fire, soul and, most of all, spirit. As George continued studying music in college, he discovered jazz and the harmonies that were used in jazz. It was then that he began to understand what exactly he was playing, both in church and from his classical repertoire. In that period of time, George’s unique fusion of Gospel and Jazz was beginning to form. Currently, George is the Chair of the Harmony Department at the Berklee College of Music. Prior to becoming Chair, He served as a Professor of Harmony and Piano at Berklee. George will often refer to himself as “a drummer who happens to plays the piano.” This is made clear when you hear the strong sense of rhythm that envelops each and every performance. Several videos of last year’s performance can be found here.

George is joined by Sean Skeete, drummer, and educator from Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies. Currently, Sean is the Chair of the Ensemble Department at Berklee College of Music where he has been teaching for more than 15 years. He teaches ensembles, hip-hop, r&b, and funk drumming courses. In addition, Sean travels extensively, presenting music workshops and clinics, both, domestically and internationally. 

 

 

 

Daniela Schächter and Laszlo Gardony

Daniela Schächter was already performing and doing studio session work in her mid-teens. After her classical studies, she received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. She won many prestigious awards and competitions including the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition, the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Competition, the Terri Lyne Carrington Endowed Scholarship and the Henry Mancini Institute. Daniela has performed international Festivals and concerts with the Boston Pops, the Count Basie Big Band, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, John Dankworth, the New York Voices, Terri Lyne Carrington, Patti Austin, Regina Carter, Christian McBride, Ingrid Jensen, Shirley Horn, among others. She has been conducted by Quincy Jones, Patrick Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, John Clayton Jr., Elmer Bernstein, Bob Brookmeyer, Justin DiCioccio and Phil Wilson. Her first CD Quintet is available on www.cdbaby.com. Her third CD entitled “Purple Butterfly” was released at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NY. Daniela is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music and Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University. website

 

Grammy Award-winning drummer, percussionist, author, and educator Mark Walker began playing drum set at age 10 and played his first professional club, concert, and recording gigs barely out of high school. He has performed on many Grammy Award-winning albums and earned several Grammy nominations for his work with various artists, including Oregon, Donato Poveda, Paquito D’Rivera, and the Caribbean Jazz Project.  He has performed and recorded extensively with Michel Camilo, Dave Samuels, Andy Narell, WDR Big Band, NDR Big Band, Eliane Elias, Lyle Mays, Dave Liebman, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Rosa Passos, and many more.

Walker is a professor in the Percussion Department at Berklee College of Music. He also has served on the faculty at Drummers Collective in New York City and has conducted master classes, clinics, and workshops in South America, North America, and Europe, both as a solo artist and with various groups. His book World Jazz Drumming, which features recorded performances by Paquito D’Rivera, was released in 2009 to critical acclaim. He also wrote for the all-star instructional drum set book Killer Grooves.

Laszlo Gardony

 

“A formidable improviser who lives in the moment” – JazzTimes
Laszlo has performed in 27 countries and released a dozen albums during his distinguished decades-long career. Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Gardony has been called “a pianist worthy of praise within the highest pantheon of performers” by Jazz Review, and “a great pianist” by Dave Brubeck.
Born in Hungary, Gardony showed an early aptitude on the piano devising little tunes inspired by the blues, pop and classical music he heard around the house. Immersed in the European classical tradition while growing up, he was drawn to progressive rock as a teenager and spent countless hours improvising blues-based music at the piano. He investigated gospel and studied jazz, a passion that soon overshadowed his classical pursuits. “We had jazz and African music classes at the Conservatory,” Gardony recalls. “There were some very knowledgeable people and a lot of records. When it came to jazz it was a tiny community, but very inspiring.”A full scholarship to Berklee brought him to America in 1983, and a faculty position at the school upon graduation kept him stateside. He made his US recording debut with the acclaimed 1988 album The Secret (Antilles) featuring Czech bass great Miroslav Vitous and drummer Ian Froman, but it was his 1st place win the following year at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition that catapulted him into the national spotlight. The Boston Globe named Gardony’s latest solo piano recording, “Serious Play” one of the 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2017. His 2015 live sextet album, “Life In Real Time” was also on the 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2015 list of the Boston Globe. Laszlo has been living in Boston for the past thirty-four years, where he is a Professor of Piano at Berklee College of Music. He continues to tour and record, attracting new fans and earning critical acclaim for his synthesis of many musical sources and for creating a joyous, powerful, insightful, and open-spirited music. website

Drummer Yoron Israel has a B.M. from Roosevelt University, and an M.M. from Rutgers University. He is a bandleader in his own right who has released quite a few recordings: Here Today, and Visions (Ronja Music), featuring High Standards; Basic Traneing (Ronja Music); Chicago (Double Time Records), featuring Organic; Live at the Blue Note (Half Note); and A Gift for You (Ronja Music), featuring Connection.

He has performed extensively and recorded over 200 recordings with such renowned artists as Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Ahmad Jamal, Abbey Lincoln, Art Farmer, Tony Bennett, Kenny Burrell, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, James Williams, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Roy Hargrove, Shirley Caesar, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra.

He has been reviewed in publications such as Modern DrummerDown Beat, Jazz Times, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe. Israel is a former faculty member of Rutgers University, William Patterson University, and the New School/Mannes College of Music. He teaches drum set, general percussion, vibraphone, ensembles, jazz history, and theory, and is the owner and president of the music publishing and production company Ronja Music.

Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, and Ray Brown, are just a few of the names that stand out in the history of bass players. Their artistry and craftsmanship make them indispensable to musicians wanting to perform their best and the reason they are on hundreds of recordings. In Boston, John Lockwood is considered the premiere bassist and it is no surprise he has turned up every year at the Summit. He has toured the U.S. and Europe with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Gary Burton, the Mel Lewis Big Band, and The Fringe. He has also performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, MIT Symphony, Pat Metheny, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Toots Thielemans, Stan Getz, and Art Farmer. He will be anchoring both groups on this doubleheader concert.

Leo Genovese and Wes Wirth and the Global Music Ensemble
2019 NPS

Last year this ensemble floored everyone with unexpected mashups of familiar and unfamiliar sounds, rhythms, and melodies. We are excited to have them back this year. “Wewh! That Bass player is great” said Carlos Santana with a smile as he listened to a recent recording of Wes who regularly performs, teaches, and records in the Boston area. Fluent in many styles including jazz, gospel, reggae, calypso, and Afro-pop, his Global music ensemble performs music that is a unique blend of haunting melodies, intricate and pulsating rhythms, vocal effects, loops, and improvisation. All that interpreted by world-class musicians including:
Joh Camara
a master drummer, dancer, and Griot, from West Africa. When Joh is not touring North America or Europe, he’s often found working with the Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra and Choir, Upward Bound, Planet Aid, and teaching classes at BU, Brown, and Harvard.
David ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski on double-neck microtonal guitar, best known as the leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos and as a member of Hasidic New Wave. He has played on more than 95 albums as a session musician, bandleader, or band member.
Kenwood Dennard
He has enjoyed a multifaceted, star-studded career as a performer, recording artist, and educator. He has toured the world with such greats as George Clinton, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Whitney Houston, and Joe Zawinul. His numerous recordings include Sting’s Nothing Like the Sun, Vanessa Williams’s The Sweetest Days, and Live at Montreux with Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Martino, The Manhattan Transfer, Dianne Reeves, Lew Soloff, Bob Moses, Stanley Jordan, Maceo Parker, Victor Bailey, Dave Bargeron, Hiram Bullock, and Marcus Miller.
Videos of last years performance can be found here
Leo Genovese 
Perhaps most well known of the Summit performers, Leo Genovese has been kept busy by bassist and vocalist phenomena Esperanza Spalding since he joined her group in 2005. Genovese was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, in 1979 and began playing the piano at the age of 5. He studied music and accounting at the University of Rosario, and lucky for us, he abandoned accounting. In 2001 he began studying at the Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2003. His first album, Haiku II, was released the following year. A reviewer for The New York Times commented on Genovese’s 2013 album, Seeds, that, “by refusing to privilege one historical style over another, he strengthens his claim as a polyglot”. Down Beat observed that Genovese’s compositions for the album “share an exploratory nature, whether the new terrain in question is a marriage of electronic and acoustic sounds, an unlikely use of chromatic scaling or the successful juxtaposition of otherwise disparate ideas.

Previous year’s performances can be found here and on the Waban Improvement Society’s facebook page.

This program is supported in part by grants from Advance Auto in Nonantum, the Village Bank with a long tradition of commitment to the Garden City, and the Newton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Moving to the Auburndale Parish

We love our beautiful branch Library, one of only two left of the 16 original branch libraries, but as the popularity of the Summit has grown, we realize the capacity of the Waban Library Center is no longer enough. Additionally, we would also like to have a real grand piano for our performers so the choice of the Auburndale parish was perfect. It seats up to 200 comfortably but still offers an intimate ambiance.

 

 

2018 performers: 

Vocalist Dominique Eade with Tim Ray

David Hajdu wrote in the New York Times Magazine, “I already knew who the Next Thing in jazz singing would be: Dominique Eade. An impossibly versatile vocalist, composer, lyricist and instrumental arranger…”
Tim Ray is the first call internationally prominent artists make when they come to town. Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim Ray’s wide-ranging skills as a soloist and accompanist have afforded him the opportunity to perform with legendary performers from Aretha Franklin, and Bonnie Raitt, to Phil Woods and the Boston Pops. Here they are performing at last year’s Summit.

Dayramir Gonzalez

Dayramir moved to New York after graduating from Berklee recently – he was the first Presidential Scholar from Cuba – and has been recording and touring extensively. He just released a critically acclaimed video from his new release. He had such a great time performing last year that he agreed to return. He is currently up for a Grammy Award. Here he is performing at last year’s Summit.

 

 

 

 

Mark Copeland Trio

Pianist and organist Mark Copeland grooves so strong, no wonder he has shared stages with Patti Labelle, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Marcus Miller, George Duke, and Gerald Albright. When he’s not performing, he can be found teaching ensembles at Berklee College of Music. For his performance, he was joined by Alexander Toth on bass and Coran Henley on drums.

 

 

Wes Wirth and the Global Music Ensemble (see above)

“Wewh! That Bass player is great” said Carlos Santana with a smile as he listened to a recent recording of Wes who regularly performs, teaches, and records in the Boston area. Fluent in many styles including jazz, gospel, reggae, calypso, and afro-pop, his Global music ensemble performs music that is a unique blend of haunting melodies, intricate and pulsating rhythms, vocal effects, loops, and improvisation. All that interpreted by world-class musicians including:

Joh Camara a master drummer, dancer, and Griot, from West Africa. When Joh is not touring North America or Europe, he’s often found working with the Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra and Choir, Upward Bound, Planet Aid, and teaching classes at  BU, Brown, and Harvard.

Keyboardist Yuki Monolog Kanesaka, when he was 4 years old, he asked his Mother how to become a NINJA. And his mother said “First you better take piano lessons, then you can be a NINJA?!! His reputation as a creative force has him running a studio and working with musicians who play with the likes of Jazz legend Elvin Jones, and superstar Prince.

David ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski on double-neck microtonal guitar, best known as the leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos and as a member of Hasidic New Wave. He has played on more than 95 albums as a session musician, bandleader, or band member.

Drummer Josh Raymond had just joined the group to round out the ensemble.

 

George Russell Jr. (see above)

His playing is filled with passion, fire, soul and, most of all, spirit. As George continued studying music in college, he discovered jazz and the harmonies that were used in jazz. It was then that he began to understand what exactly he was playing, both in church and from his classical repertoire. In that period of time, George’s unique fusion of Gospel and Jazz was beginning to form. Currently, George is the Chair of the Harmony Department at the Berklee College of Music. Prior to becoming Chair, He served as a Professor of Harmony and Piano at Berklee. George will often refer to himself as “a drummer who happens to plays the piano.” This is made clear when you hear the strong sense of rhythm that envelops each and every performance. He was joined by drummer Sean Skeete and bassist and Summit headliner, Wes Wirth.

 

 

 

Jimin Park

Park was born and raised in a musical family in Seoul, Korea. Introduced to classical music by her mother, she began classical studies at the age of four. By age nine, she had already won five awards at prestigious classical competitions. While preparing to audition for Middle School, Park fell in love with the alluring sounds of jazz great Oscar Peterson. From that point forward, she knew in her heart that she wanted to pursue jazz studies. By age seventeen, Park was a veteran of the Seoul scene. Her audition at the famous Berklee College of Music resulted in a full-scholarship. She has been turning heads and wowing Jazz masters locally, quickly gaining a reputation as a formidable and talented pianist and vocalist. We also got her to sing one tune.

 

2017 performers

Vocalist Dominique Eade

David Hajdu wrote in the New York Times Magazine, “I already knew who the Next Thing in jazz singing would be: Dominique Eade. An impossibly versatile vocalist, composer, lyricist and instrumental arranger…”

 

Tim Ray

Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim Ray’s wide-ranging skills as a soloist and accompanist have afforded him the opportunity to perform with legendary performers notably Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Jane Siberry and Soul Asylum, Esperanza Spalding, Phil Woods, Dave Douglas, and Brian Blade. His classical credits include solo performances and concerts with Gunther Schuller, the Boston Pops, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Boston Classical Orchestra.

Alexei Tsiganov

At 17, Alexei was working at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and by 1991 he had arrived in the USA to begin a career that now spans genres and continents. His prowess has made him a first call among top names in jazz including Claudio Roditi, Antonio Sanchez, Chico Freeman, Esperanza Spalding, Bob Moses and Greg Osby. This year Alexei was joined by vocalist Yoko Kawata.

Alan Rowe

He played for Kennedys, Rockefellers and Bushes and performed with major New England A-list artists for over 3 decades. His reputation for creative
interpretations of classics is well known and now we will see first hand why Alan is considered a Jazz Master. Alan is joined by bassist John Turner.

 

Nina Ott and Chris Lopes Trio

Nina was on the faculty at Berklee for 6 years before moving to San Francisco. Returning after years of performing in the vibrant Latin Jazz scene there, Nina and her husband Chris just released their second album.

 

2016 performers

Alexei Tsiganov

At 17, Alexei was working at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and by 1991 he had arrived in the USA to begin a career that now spans genres and continents. His prowess has made him a first call among top names in jazz including Claudio Roditi, Antonio Sanchez, Chico Freeman, Esperanza Spalding, Bob Moses and Greg Osby.

Tim Ray

Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim Ray’s wide-ranging skills as a soloist and accompanist have afforded him the opportunity to perform with legendary performers notably Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Jane Siberry and Soul Asylum, Esperanza Spalding, Phil Woods, Dave Douglas, and Brian Blade. His classical credits include solo performances and concerts with Gunther Schuller, the Boston Pops, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Boston Classical Orchestra.

At 17, Alexei was working at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and by 1991 he had arrived in the USA to begin a career that now spans genres and continents. His prowess has made him a first call among top names in jazz including Claudio Roditi, Antonio Sanchez, Chico Freeman, Esperanza Spalding, Bob Moses and Greg Osby.


Kevin Harris

A performer at festivals in Cuba, Panama, Italy, Denmark, Peru, Israel, and the USA, Kevin has just released his 5th album. He is on the faculty at Berklee College of Music and is a MIT affiliated artist. Downbeat Magazine: “Harris’ compositions deal with themes of strength, love, courage, and self-awareness.”


 

Nina Ott and Chris Lopes Trio

Nina was on the faculty at Berklee for 6 years before moving to San Francisco. Returning after years of performing in the vibrant Latin Jazz scene there, Nina and her husband Chris just released their second album.


 

Alan Rowe & John Lockwood

He played for Kennedys, Rockefellers and Bushes and performed with major New England A-list artists for over 3 decades. His reputation for creative
interpretations of classics is well known and now we will see first hand why Alan is considered a Jazz Master. Boston Bass legend John Lockwood
joins Alan.

 

Mayor Fuller singles out the Newton Piano Summit as an example of great arts in the city – excerpt from State of the City Address January 21st, 2020

Previous year’s performances can be found here and on the Waban Improvement Society’s facebook page.

This program is supported in part by grants from Advance Auto in Nonantum – providing quality service for everything automotive, the Village Bank which has a long tradition of commitment to the Garden City, Honda Village, and the Newton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

 

FOA