Airs Thursday, March 6 at 8 p.m. When you survey the history of the piano in 20th century American music, there are several individuals, composers and standards, particularly within jazz and popular songs. Performing a recital that traverses these figures and movements, while ensuring that your renditions remain original, is quite a challenge. In the spring of 2013, pianist Marcus Roberts played a concert at our festival that surveyed a broad cross section of 20th century American music. While he's been featured in a variety of musical contexts at our festival over the past decade, Marcus played a 75-minute recital that included distinctive interpretations of works by Scott Joplin, W.C. Handy, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington as well as some original works and gospel pieces. Tune in to hear highlights from this 2013 SMF concert by the inimitable Marcus Roberts.
Airs Thursday, February 27 at 8 p.m. As the largest country in South America and the only Portuguese speaking one, Brazil has a history that unfolded over 500 years. People from Europe, Africa, and South America came together and blended their foods, religions, customs, and of course their music, to create one of the most unique cultures in the world. In this episode, we listen to the Hamilton de Holanda Quintet performing at the 2008 Savannah Music Festival.
Airs Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m. Pianist Henry Butler was born in New Orleans and has developed a sound that Dr. John refers to as the "pride of the Crescent City." As an extension of the great piano lineage that includes Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, James Booker and Tuts Washington, Mr. Butler has devised a distinct musical gumbo that blends the ingredients of jazz, blues, rags and funk with the feeling of a second line parade. In this episode, we listen to highlights from Henry Butler's solo performance at the Charles H. Morris Center during the 2010 Savannah Music Festival.
Airs Thursday, January 30 at 8 p.m. When new styles of American music began to emerge at the end of the 19th century, the primary instrument at the center of these creations was the piano. Virtuosos such as ragtime stylist Scott Joplin created works like the "Maple Leaf Rag" that would sell over a million copies of sheet music alone. The first two decades of the 20th century would see jazz and blues compositions crafted by Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy and Duke Ellington, and their results were the shape of American music to come.
Airs Thursday, January 23 at 8 p.m. The piano has been an integral part of the jazz idiom since its inception. Due to its combined melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities, it has been the one instrument that allowed the greatest jazz players to use their creativity to address all of these elements of musical style simultaneously. This episode of SMF Live features the first half of Piano Showdown 2010, with New Orleans powerhouse Henry Butler, the encyclopedic Dick Hyman, the virtuosic Marcus Roberts and one of the most talented players of the younger generation, 25 year-old Gerald Clayton.