Newton Piano Summit

Latest video from last season:

2024 Season is Postponed to March 7,8,14,15 2025

 

Your contribution will help the Summit become a sustainable tradition in our city. Any amount is tax deductible and highly appreciated.



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Where your money goes:

2023 season cost a little over $16,000. Marketing was spent on internet advertising and lawn signs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In-kind donations:

Videographers and Audio engineers are donating 25 – 50% of regular fees. Performing artists are generally taking lower fees. More than 20 volunteers help staff the event. Producing and Video editing is done for free.

2025 Season will be incredible!

Returning to the stage will be Gospel legend Dennis Mongomery III who brought down the house last year. Derailed from our lineup of 2023 because she had a performance with the great saxophonist Chris Potter, will be Anastassiya Petrova. We welcome new talent and the opportunity to present musicians who have ties to the region and we are thrilled to have Paul Bloom join the lineup.

Anastassiya Petrova

Jazz pianist/organist from Kazakhstan currently based in Boston, Massachusetts has been making headlines since she turned up in Boston 5 years ago. She’s currently blowing up worldwide with her musical prowess and creativity. Throughout her musical career, she has been given opportunities to share the stage with artists such as Terri Lyne Carrington, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Noah Preminger, Allan Chase, Patricia Pérez, Ben Street, Adam Cruz, Marco Pignataro, Ellis Hall, Catherine Russell, and others. She participated in international festivals such as Umbria Jazz Festival 2013 (Italy), Wave of Ideas 2015 (Bulgaria), Panama Jazz Festival 2020, 2021 (Panama), Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival 2018 (Boston, MA), Monterey Jazz Festival 2018 (Monterey, CA), Soular Jazz Festival 2021 (MA), and Arlington Jazz Festival 2022 (MA).

She received her bachelor’s degree in professional music and performance at Berklee College of Music and a master’s degree in global jazz from Berklee, studying in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. In 2019 she was awarded with a DownBeat Student Music Award for the Best Graduate Arrangement. In 2021 received a grand-prix at the International Jazz Bridge Competition as a pianist, composer, and arranger, and became the finalist at Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. In 2022 Petrova received a prestigious New Jazz Legacy Grant, which will let her perform alongside the renowned jazz saxophonist Chris Potter and get creative mentorship with Kris Davis. She is currently working on her debut album and is a principal pianist and organist for Champion: An Opera in Jazz written by Terence Blanchard as a part of Boston Lyric Opera.

 

Dennis Montgomery III

Montgomery grew up singing and playing in Baptist churches around the upper Louisiana area under the tutelage of his father and mother,  By the time he was nine years old he was proficient enough on the Hammond B3 Organ to get hired to work alongside his father.

Montgomery came to Berklee College of Music in 1983. Shortly after his arrival at Berklee, he headed for the gospel choir which had only recently come into existence. While Berklee’s education is focused on jazz,  “We know that jazz has its roots in the negro spiritual, which is gospel music. Gospel is also the mother of a lot of other secular music that America has produced.” Gospel at Berklee grew rapidly and when Mongomery graduated he assumed the direction of the Reverence Gospel Ensemble as a full-time faculty member.
Montgomery believes that the choir is a fundamental ingredient of the American experience for international students, which is probably why students from all over Asia, South America, Europe, and Australia all come to be a part of the choir. Montgomery states, “When I was young, I had to learn European musical styles. So when foreign students come to Berklee, I think it is important to educate them in a true form of American music.” The choir has served as a catalyst for some premiere voices in the music industry such as Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Susan Tedeschi, Claude Kelly, Rob Lewis and Mark Whitfield.

Paul Bloom

Paul distinguished himself quickly as a prodigiously creative talent in the Boston area before moving to New York City. Originally from Needham, Massachusetts, Paul was enthralled by music as a child and started taking piano lessons at age 5. As a teenager, he took lessons with Steve Sussman, Doug Johnson, and Hal Crook, while performing weekly at Wally’s Jazz Club. He also joined New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music programs, studying with renowned artists and educators including Austin McMahon, Tiger Okoshi, Alexei Tsiganov, Joanne Brackeen, Wes Wirth, Ken Schaphorst, and Julian Lage.
Paul participated in the Brubeck Institute Fellowship Program from 2012-2013, where he worked with mentors Joe Gilman, Stefon Harris, Patrick Langham, and Brian Kendrick. After moving to New York City in 2013, he began studies at Columbia University and discovered a fascination with neuroscience. Over the following years, he balanced studies in developmental neuroscience under the mentorship of Dr. Nim Tottenham with a regular schedule of performances and recording sessions, as well as lessons with Frank Kimbrough and Bruce Barth.
Over the past 10 years, Paul has been an active member of the New York City music scene, playing and recording with artists spanning many musical styles, including Jess Best, Taylor Simone Harvey, iiii, Justin Carter, Alex Graff, Bria Monét, Chandanie, Sedric Perry, Elysse, Jazze Belle, Marcus Machado, Kendra Foster, and JSWISS. He has had opportunities to perform at premier venues, including the Blue Note, Apollo Theater, Dizzy’s Club, Nublu, Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, NYC Winter Jazz Festival, The Bowery Ballroom, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the California Jazz Conservatory.
Currently, Paul maintains an active performing and recording schedule while studying neuroscience and adolescent mental health as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Columbia University Medical Center. He strives to pursue both his passions in science and music, and if the setting is right, bring them together!


The 2023 season was everything we hoped it would be and much more!

Returning artists were Andrus Madsen, Harold Charon, and Kevin Harris. New talent to the Summit: Hidemi Akaiwa, Sylvia Berry, Leo Blanco, Dennis Montgomery III, and Utar Artun.




Hidemi Akaiwa 

Fasten your seatbelts because you are likely to have never heard music like what keyboardist and composer Hidemi Akaiwa performs. Her passion is to create a new art form infusing the tenets of Japanese Zen with the sounds of jazz and microtonal contemporary classical music.

At the age of 30, she shifted from a successful corporate career to focus on jazz music. She received a full scholarship to Berklee, where she took part in the college’s Global Jazz Institute, Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Planet MicroJam Institute, and Interdisciplinary Arts Institute. These experiences have allowed her to study with world-class musicians including Danilo Pérez, Kenny Werner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, Billy Childs, David Fiuczynski, and many others. She just returned from a tour of Guatemala with the Screaming Headless Torsos, but that’s another story! Click here to see/hear.



Kevin Harris & Fabio Rojas

Having participated in the very first incarnation of the Summit, we are so pleased to have Kevin Harris and the creative volcano that he is, grace our stage again. Expect a different and unique multimedia experience with spoken word, poetry, and recorded and creative electronic sounds.

A distinctive trait of New York/Boston-based jazz pianist Kevin Harris is his desire to constantly grow, evolve, improve, and advance. His interest to interweave traditional and contemporary music styles, visual arts, electronic media, science, and language, is what distinguishes his music and what renders his performances unique experiences, meant to activate the audience’s senses and personal curiosity.

Participation,” Harris says, “is what keeps our souls alive.” Both live and recorded performances reflect Harris’s determination to capture his audience through explorative interactions that Terri Lyne Carrington describes as “an exciting commitment to quality.

Harris’ music education has its foundation in the degrees he has received, but equally importantly in Black Gospel and Afro-Caribbean styles of music. He possesses the unique ability to compose complex, uplifting, tempestuous, and deeply stimulating notes.

Fred Hersch talks of Harris as one who “plays and writes with flair and real soul” and DownBeat Magazine writes that “Harris’ compositions deal with themes of strength, love, courage, and self-awareness. It’s a heavy task he’s set up for himself, and he meets the challenge gracefully.

 

Among his recurring International and national performances are venues such as the Blue Note (NYC, Beijing, Milan, and Boston), New York’s Smalls and Mezzrow, Copenhagen’s JazzHus Montmartre-Denmark, Perugia Jazz Festival-Italy, Lima Jazz Festival-Peru, Boston Wally’s Jazz Club-USA, Havana Jazz Festival-Cuba, Panama Jazz Festival – Panama, Catania Jazz-Italy, to name a few.

In 2020 Harris was nominated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to be a Neighborhood Salon Luminary, with the goal to exchange creative ideas and dialogue with some of Boston’s most innovative artists. In December of 2021, Harris released his solo piano work entitled “Doorways” at Calderwood Hall in the Gardner Museum.

As a composer, one of Harris’ innovative projects is “Roots, Water and Sunlight: A Contemporary Octet Expedition through the Expressions of James Baldwin,” where he put music to the renowned and significant thoughts shared by James Baldwin. He is currently completing a commissioned work entitled “Pulse”, a new work for oboe, violins, cello, acoustic bass, and piano, to be released in 2023.

He is on the faculty at Berklee College of Music where he coaches ensembles, theory classes, piano labs, and private piano instruction. Additionally, he is part of Berklee’s Mentoring Program, and he leads the Berklee Piano Club.

He serves as a council member for JazzBoston, the New England Conservatory Alumni Council, and Berklee Soundboard.

Performing with Kevin is Drummer Fabio Rojas, originally from Valencia, Venezuela. Since arriving in the US, Rojas has performed with artists such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Geri Allen, Greg Osby Band, Bill Pierce, Sean Jones, Kevin Harris, John Lockwood, Nino de los Reyes, Manuel Valera, Paula Champion, Mike Rodriguez, Pablo Menares, Jason Palmer, Jon Cowherd, Regina Carter, Rachel Z Hakim, David Bixler, Gregg August and in venues such as SXSW, Daegu Jazz Festival, Smoke Jazz Club, Lincoln Center, BU Agganis Arena, Boston Symphony Hall, Scullers Jazz Club, MusikFest, NAMM, RIFF, among many others.
Fabio earned his Bachelor of Music with a Dual Major in Performance and Professional Music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, thanks to a scholarship and extremely hard work. There he had the honor of being mentored by Terri Lyne Carrington and Kim Plainfield. Right after graduating, he was hired as a staff member at Berklee.
Besides performing and composing music for films and commercials, Rojas also educates and is currently part of the Faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo. Through music you can express greater emotions, ones that you cannot define with words. As an artist, this is what Fabio strives for and continues to do through his work.

 

 

Harold Charon 

Harold Charon performed at last year’s Summit and just blew the house down. His talent can only be described as genius. His schedule has become quite full but we were lucky to bring him back this year

Originally from Havana, he began piano lessons at 5 years old. Exuding musicianship decades beyond his years, he went on a Canadian tour which included the Halifax Jazz Festival and received training from  Fred Hersh, Taylor Eigsty, Billy Childs and the late great jazz master Chick Corea.

Crossing genres, Harold has worked with a variety of artists including Leo Vera, La Cruzada, and Los Clasicos. In 2016 he joined Janio Abreu and Aire D’ Concierto, where he worked as a pianist and composer for Ruy Lopez-Nussa y La Academia. Currently, he is finishing his studies at Berklee, majoring in jazz composition and performance. His music features influences from Latin, Salsa, Jazz and Timba. Timba is a Cuban genre of music based on Cuban son with salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Chucho Valdez, bandleader of Irakere is considered one of the founders of the style.

LEO BLANCO 

The music of the pianist and composer pulses with global rhythmic elements influenced equally by his South American roots and European classical traditions interwoven with improvisatory developments.

Blanco was born in the Venezuelan Andes where he absorbed folk music genres that were a mix of Afro-Caribbean, North American and European musical styles.  By age eleven he was a violinist in the Merida Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 1996, his interest in world music and jazz brought him to Boston’s Berklee College of Music and he later earned a Master’s Degree in Composition at New England Conservatory.

In 1997 Blanco became the first Latin American to win to the prestigious Boston Jazz Society Award. The next year, he received the Billboard Grant Award for his commitment, achievement and contribution to society through music. Currently, he is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music.

Blanco has shared the stage with major international jazz artists including Terence Blanchard, Pat Metheny, Chucho Valdez (Irakere) and Joao Bosco. He has performed at numerous festivals including the Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and the Latino Festival and at the Kennedy Center.  Blanco has produced and composed four albums under his name.

Appearing with Leo are bassist Fernando Huego and drummer Mark Walker.

Fernando Huergo is a bassist, composer, and educator from Cordoba, Argentina, now based in Boston. He has recorded over 140 albums, including 11 as a leader. Fernando has toured and given clinics in North, Central and South America, Europe and Asia.

An active performer on the jazz scene, he currently plays with Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos, MOZIK, Mehmet Sanlikol, Daniel Ian Smith, Pablo Ablanedo, El Eco, Macuco Quintet, Leo Blanco, Fernando Brandao, Yulia Musayelyan, Carlos Averhoff, Maxim Lubarsky, Claudio Ragazzi, and Giovani Molten. He has performed with the bands of Luciana Souza, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Danilo Perez, Marta Gomez, Dave Valentín, Hendrick Meurkens, Dave Liebman, Dave Samuels, Joe Beck, and many others.

He has played alongside great musicians such as Tom Harrell, Dave Kikoski, Joey Calderazzo, Paquito D’Rivera, Randy Brecker, Rick Margitza, Kenny Werner, David Sanchez, Mike Mainieri, John Riley, Mike Clark, Don Braden, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Don Byron, Giovanni Hidalgo, Jerry Gonzalez, Horacio Hernandez, Bill O’Connell, Richie Flores, Paulo Braga, Romero Lubambo, Portinho, Claudio Roditi, Raul Carnota, Juan Quinteros, Lucho Hoyos, and with some of the most influential musicians of his generation like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Mark Turner, Chris Cheek, Miguel Zenon, Jeff Ballard, Antonio Sanchez, Jorge Rossi, Seamus Blake and Dafnis Prieto and Boston stars Billy Pierce, Jerry Bergonzi, and George Garzone. He has also performed and recorded with pop stars like Chayanne and Sandra Mihanovich.

Fernando Huergo has performed with his quintet at the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, and Cordoba International Jazz Festival in Argentina, as well as at Alexanderplatz Jazz Club in Rome, Italy, and Sunside Jazz in Paris, France, The Regattabar in Cambridge, MA and Cornelia Street Cafe in NYC, among others.

Fernando is a professor in the Bass Department at Berklee College of Music, since 1996, and an adjunct faculty at Tufts University since 2001. A dedicated educator, he has given clinics in Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Canada, Portugal, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Israel, and in many cities in the United States.

Fernando graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1992, and has also studied at New England Conservatory. He studied with Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Cecil McBee, George Rusell, Whit Browne, Oscar Stagnaro and Bruce Gertz, among others.

 

 

 

Dennis Montgomery III

Montgomery grew up singing and playing in Baptist churches around the upper Louisiana area under the tutelage of his father and mother,  By the time he was nine years old he was proficient enough on the Hammond B3 Organ to get hired to work alongside his father.

Montgomery came to Berklee College of Music in 1983. Shortly after his arrival at Berklee, he headed for the gospel choir which had only recently come into existence. While Berklee’s education is focused on jazz,  “We know that jazz has its roots in the negro spiritual, which is gospel music. Gospel is also the mother of a lot of other secular music that America has produced.” Gospel at Berklee grew rapidly and when Mongomery graduated he assumed the direction of the Reverence Gospel Ensemble as a full-time faculty member.
Montgomery believes that the choir is a fundamental ingredient of the American experience for international students, which is probably why students from all over Asia, South America, Europe, and Australia all come to be a part of the choir. Montgomery states, “When I was young, I had to learn European musical styles. So when foreign students come to Berklee, I think it is important to educate them in a true form of American music.” The choir has served as a catalyst for some premiere voices in the music industry such as Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Susan Tedeschi, Claude Kelly, Rob Lewis and Mark Whitfield.

 

Utar Artun 

We are thrilled to welcome Utar Artun to the Summit, an exceptionally talented musician with a diverse skill set as an arranger, composer, pianist, and drummer. Originally from Ankara, Turkey, young Utar achieved remarkable success in the music industry with prestigious awards, film scores, and performances at various international festivals, concert halls, and on television.

Utar continued to pursue his passion for music and earned scholarships to attend the renowned Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with esteemed artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Kevin Eubanks, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Jason Linder, and Summit performers Kenwood Dennard and David Fiuczynski.

Utar’s extensive body of work includes over 120 compositions for symphony orchestras and more than 160 pieces for brass and big bands. He recently arranged music for a video titled “Bizim Eller Ne Guzel Eller,” which showcased the devastation caused by the earthquake in Van, Turkey. This emotional and inspiring video has been viewed by over 50 million people worldwide.

Currently, Utar is a JRR artist at Berklee, and we eagerly anticipate an amazing performance on May 6th.

Andrus Madsen 

Newton’s own Andrus Madsen is well-known internationally in early music circles and performs on the organ, harpsichord clavichord and fortepiano. He is the founding director of Newton Baroque. Originally from Provo, Utah, Andrus received a Bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University and went on to the Eastman School of Music, where he completed a Master’s degree in Musicology, and a Masters and Doctorate in harpsichord performance. Madsen is known for his eloquent Baroque style improvisations. His recording of keyboard music by Pachelbel has received critical acclaim. “Superb recordings of superb instruments by a musician who deserves to be better known.” (Michael Barone of pipedreams).

Sylvia Berry

Sylvia Berry is one of North America’s leading exponents of historical keyboard instruments. A Philadelphia native based in Boston, she has spent nearly twenty years playing countless types of fortepianos, harpsichords, and organs, including some noteworthy antiques. Her recording of Haydn’s “London Sonatas” on an 1806 Broadwood & Son grand for the Acis label drew critical acclaim; a reviewer in Early Music America proclaimed her “a complete master of rhetoric, whether in driving passagework or in cantabile adagios,” while a review in Fanfare stated, “To say that Berry plays these works with vim, vigor, verve, and vitality, is actually a bit of an understatement.” Of her concertizing, Cleveland Classical recently enthused: “Her splendid playing took her up and down the keyboard in lightning-fast scales and passagework, and her thrilling full-voiced chords allowed the fortepiano to assert itself as a real solo instrument.” Ms. Berry is known not only for her exciting performances but also for the engaging commentary she provides about the music and instruments she plays. She is also a published scholar who’s written and lectured on the performance practices of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as the sociological phenomena surrounding the music of this period. In addition to performing with ensembles such as Les Délices, Ars Antiqua, and the Chamber Orchestra of Boston she is the curator of her own period instrument ensemble, The Berry Collective, which has performed at venues and series such as The Museum of Fine Arts, The Princeton University Art Museum, Monadnock Music, Museum Concerts of Rhode Island, and the Portland Early Music Festival. She’s performed solo recitals for Pittsburgh Renaissance and Baroque, Cambridge Society of Early Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Providence College, and Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory, among others. In May 2020 she will join a “Beethoven Sonata Marathon” in New York presented by the American Classical Orchestra, and will also join the faculty of the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, NY. Despite getting a late start at the piano – she began lessons at age thirteen – she attended the New England Conservatory and holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory (BM in Piano, MM in Historical Keyboard Instruments) and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands.

 

 

Why you should attend these concerts:

 

  • Experience the beauty of live music: There is nothing quite like hearing a talented artist play a beautiful piece of music in person, with all the nuances and subtleties that a recording simply cannot capture. No high-end system with vinyl, super audio CD, or any other recorded format can deliver all the energy and drama of a live performance.
  • Expand your musical horizons: You may discover new composers and styles of music that you never knew existed, and develop a deeper appreciation for the art form.
  • Connect with like-minded people: Attending the Summit can also be a great way to connect with people who share your passion for music. You may meet the performers themselves, and have the opportunity to discuss your favorite pieces of music and exchange ideas and insights.
  • Unwind and de-stress: Listening to live music has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, and even lowering blood pressure. We most certainly can all use that!
  • It is unlikely the next opportunity you will have to see these artists someone else will be footing the bill, consider this a free $100 ticket!
  • These are some of the very best talents making music today! We have searched high and low with great expertise in finding out who’s hot, who is innovative, and who is making incredible music.
  • Excepting previous Newton Piano Summits, not since Dizzy Gillespie played in Newton over three decades ago have Newtonites had the opportunity to see this level of talent for free. These are the concerts people will talk about for generations. 
  • Just showing up is supporting the arts and helps ensure that talented musicians continue to have opportunities to perform and share their gifts in Newton.
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 that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, Newton Community Pride, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and private donors.

You can make a tax-deductible donation through the Waban Improvement Society by clicking here.

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

2022 Season was amazing!


May 21st, The Helen Sung Trio PUSH – Celebrating Women in Jazz

Simply put, Helen Sung is the most innovative, jaw-dropping new artist on the planet we have heard in years. She melds influences from jazz, classical, and Latin into astounding expeditions into new territories. Her latest album Quartet+ is breathtaking with incredibly tasteful, surprising, and dramatic new workings of some jazz standards, and inspiring original material. Currently residing in New York and touring major venues internationally, we are incredibly fortunate to have her make a stop in Newton on May 21st.  

Helen is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. A native of Houston, Texas, and graduate of its High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), she went on to become part of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute (now the Herbie Hancock Institute) at the New England Conservatory of Music. Her recent releases Sung With Words (Stricker Street), a collaborative project with renowned poet Dana Gioia, and Anthem For A New Day (Concord Jazz) topped the jazz charts. Quartet+ (Sunnyside Records), her latest release, followed suit, garnering a 4.5-star DownBeat review and inclusion in its “Best of 2021 Albums” list and a JazzTimes cover story (January 2022 issue). Helen and her band have at performed at Newport, Monterey, Disney Hall, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall. Internationally, her “NuGenerations” Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent engagements include debuts at the London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Blue Note Beijing, and the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. She has performed with such luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis (who named her as one of his “Who’s Got Next: Jazz Musicians to Watch!”), MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter, and Grammy-winning artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and the Mingus Big Band.

Helen is a Steinway Artist and has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School, and Columbia University.

Her trio includes David Wong, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums

david wongDavid Wong was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts. He graduated from the Juilliard and has studied classical bass with Orin O’Brien of the New York Philharmonic, and jazz bass with legends Ron Carter, Ben Wolfe, and John Clayton. He has performed with Eric Reed, Roy Haynes, the Heath Brothers and Wynton Marsalis’s Lincoln Center Orchestra. He has also been performing with singer Sachal Vasandani, and pianists Jeb Patton. and Dan Nimmer, among others.

 

 

Since graduating from Berklee in 2002, Kendrick Scott has performed with the Jazz Crusaders, guitarist Pat Metheny, saxophonists Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett, vocalists Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, Gretchen Parlato and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, to name a few.  Scott’s debut recording with his group Oracle recorded The Source in 2006, including pianists Aaron Parks and Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and others. Scott also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina)  which was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Scott embarked on the 22-state tour, starting in January 2008 with the 50th Anniversary Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band. It featured the leaders of the past, present, and future with Terence Blanchard on trumpet, James Moody on saxophone, Benny Green on piano, Derrick Hodge on bass, and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. Scott also currently plays with the Charles Lloyd Quartet, featuring alongside Reuben Rogers on bass, and Gerald Clayton on piano.

 

May 7th, Andrus Madsen and April Sun – The Goldberg Variations.

“The Goldberg Variations are among the most meaningful works J. S. Bach wrote for keyboard.” Josef Rheinberger, 1883

Newton’s own Andrus Madsen is well-known internationally in early music circles and performs on the organ, harpsichord clavichord and fortepiano. He is the founding director of Newton Baroque. Originally from Provo, Utah, Andrus received a Bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University and went on to the Eastman School of Music, where he completed a Master’s degree in Musicology, and a Masters and Doctorate in harpsichord performance. Madsen is known for his eloquent Baroque style improvisations. His recording of keyboard music by Pachelbel has received critical acclaim. “Superb recordings of superb instruments by a musician who deserves to be better known.” (Michael Barone of pipedreams).

​Boston-based pianist ​​​​April Sun co-founded the Meadowlark Piano Trio, frequently collaborates with the Phoenix and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestras, and has performed at Calderwood Hall (Boston), Bing Concert Hall (Stanford), Spectrum (NYC), Pepsico Hall (Fort Worth), and the American Exchange Center at Jiaotong University (China). She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and teaches at the Brookline Music School. She serves as a collaborative pianist at New England Conservatory and Boston University. 



May 14th, Harold Charon, Explorations in Latin Music.





One of the things we try to do with the Summit is feature talent before they get Grammys, world attention, and command fees well above our current budgets, and yes this has happened! We poll past summit artists regularly to see who’s the new hot talent on the scene and this time Harold Charon’s name kept coming up.

Harold Charon is the youngest headliner we have featured on the Summit, only slightly younger than Jimin Park a few years ago. Originally from Havana, he began piano lessons at 5 years old. Exuding musicianship decades beyond his years, he went on a Canadian tour which included the Halifax Jazz Festival and received training from  Fred Hersh, Taylor Eigsty, Billy Childs and the late great jazz master Chick Corea.

Crossing genres, Harold has worked with a variety of artists including Leo Vera, La Cruzada, and Los Clasicos. In 2016 he joined Janio Abreu and Aire D’ Concierto, where he worked as a pianist and composer for Ruy Lopez-Nussa y La Academia. Currently, he is finishing his studies at Berklee, majoring in jazz composition and performance. His music features influences from Latin, Salsa, Jazz and Timba. Timba is a Cuban genre of music based on Cuban son with salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Chucho Valdez, bandleader of Irakere is considered one of the founders of the style.  He’s bringing some amazing talent with him including Trumpeter Richard Stanmeyer who also studies at Berklee on a grant from the college’s Presidential Scholarship Committee. His teachers include Tia Fuller, Marquis Hill, Jason Palmer, Charlie Lewis, and Jeff Stout among others. He performs regularly around town at Wally’s Jazz Café, the House of Blues, the Middle East, PAX East, and The Lilypad. Cristián Tamblay is a Chilean drummer who performs and records with a wide variety of global artists. Ernan D. Ramos Ortiz “Ed Rox” – Congas and Cajon – is a multi-instrumentalist, rapper, composer, and producer who is strongly influenced by the rich musical culture of Puerto Rico and his upbringing in a family of musicians. “For me, music is the only way that your soul can speak itself.” Michael Doughty is a bassist from North Andover, MA. and recently was the bassist for Berklee’s Signature Series concert featuring Afro-Cuban artist, Daymé Arocena. 

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 7th year, we are proud of our success and being joined by others including the Newton and Massachusetts Cultural Councils, the Village Bank, Newton Community Pride, Advance Auto in Nonantum, Honda Village, The Paul & Edith Babson Foundation, and private donors to help underwrite this series.  
Join the Summit Facebook page to keep alerted to videos and performances.  



Performers are selected from an A-list of recognized artists. 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 performances are available here. 

The historic Second Church in Newton

We are excited to again hold this season’s performances at the amazing Second Church. Great acoustics, ample parking, plenty of comfortable cushioned seating, and easy wheelchair access.

2020 Series – The COVID Concerts

Guitar Master Bruce Forman

Bruce Forman’s name inspires smiles, laughter, and fear! He is known the world over for his incredible prowess, energy, and creativity. “Bruce Forman is one of the great lights of our age.” Barney Kessel, Jazz Times. Eighteen recordings as a leader, including his newest release, Junkyard Duo; countless sideman recordings including Ray Brown, Bobby Hutcherson, Roger Kellaway; soundtrack performances on three of Clint Eastwood’s distinguished films—most notably Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby; producer, arranger, acclaimed educator, in residence at USC’s Studio/Jazz Guitar Dept., when does Bruce Forman rest? Tune in for a live performance and conversation.

Debo Ray and Nando Michelin & Ebinho Cardoso

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. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 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.

 

Nando Michelin & Ebinho Cardoso present 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.

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.
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 characterizes 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.

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.

 

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 merges Jazz creativity with European lyricism and rhythms of South America. Maxim’s performances are known for 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 Caribbean Jazz Vibraphonist Dave Samuels for seven of eight semesters. During this time, Warren began to explore more deeply 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 Wally’s Cafe. Warren was also the house drummer at Wally’s 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 play 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 for 2019

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.

 

 

FOA