Famed jazz piano duo performs Feb. 28 for Lakeshore Music series at Tempe Center for the Arts


By Patricia Myers

For the “month of lovers,” the Lakeshore Music jazz series brings the wife-husband duo of pianists Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap to make beautiful music together at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28. These world-renowned jazz pianists have had stellar solo careers, and recently recorded their first collaborative album, “Double Portrait,” for Blue Note. Their four-hand piano duets feature superb individual styles that flow into a sparkling integrated sound.

The series continues monthly into May at the Tempe Center for the Arts with a variety of touring bands. Reduced prices are offered when purchasing multiple concerts; see details below or at www.LakeshoreMusic.org

Rosnes was born in Canada, relocating to New York City in 1986, soon recording and touring with a “who’s who” of jazz, such as Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, JJ Johnson, Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson. In 1989, James Moody hired Renee for his quartet, and she remained a member of his band until his death in 2010. From 2004 to 2009, Rosnes was a member of the all-star octet, the SFJAZZ Collective. She has released 12 albums, four of which have won Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. She is a noted composer and in 2003 was named SOCAN’s Composer of the Year. In addition to leading her own ensemble, she currently is a member of bassist Ron Carter’s Foursight Quartet.

Charlap has performed with top artists ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He’s known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. In 1997, he formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (not related), recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz.

In 2000, he was signed to Blue Note Records and has since received two Grammy Award nominations, for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein also The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard. In 2009, Charlap was pianist and musical director for The Blue Note 7, an all-star jazz septet celebrating the legacy of Blue Note Records on its 70th anniversary. The septet performed a 50-city tour and released the CD, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records.

Charlap currently is the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y, and has produced concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, also an evening of George Gershwin’s music at the Hollywood Bowl. Born in New York City, Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” In 2005, Charlap and Stewart released an album, Love Is Here to Stay (Blue Note).

Future Lakeshore Music concerts will feature the Harlem Quartet with pianist Aldo López Gavilán on March 21, Mads & Markus on April 25, and the Trish Hatley Quartet on May 23, all at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe 85281, 480-350-2822; ticket package discounts: 4 shows 15%; 3 shows, 10%; Mill Avenue Dinner and Show Packages available @ Lakeshoremusic.org.

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