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Masterclass: Kenny Werner

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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World-class jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner presents a masterclass.

Perfection, 360 degrees of soul and science in one human being. My kind of musician.

Quincy Jones

Photo courtesy of Kenny Werner

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Kenny Werner began playing and performing at a young age, first recording on television at the age of 11. Although he studied classical piano as a child, he enjoyed playing anything he heard on the radio. He attended the Manhattan School of Music as a classical piano major and Berklee School of Music where he sought tutelage of the renowned piano teacher Madame Chaloff. Werner’s longstanding musical partnerships include a 14 year run with the Kenny Werner Trio (drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Ratzo Harris) that began in 1981, a duo with Toots Thielemans, the legendary harmonica player beginning in the 90’s and for the last twenty years he has played with and arranged for Betty Buckley, a Broadway legend. He also has had a nearly forty-year friendship and musical collaboration with Joe Lovano. In 2000, Kenny formed a trio with Ari Hoenig on drums and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass. They played nearly a decade together and released three albums, with Kenny acting as composer, arranger, and pianist. Lawn Chair Society, featuring Chris Potter, Dave Douglas, Scott Colley, and Brian Blade, received critical acclaim for its fusion of electro and acoustic elements. For several years now he has also toured with his quintet featuring David Sanchez on sax, the legendary trumpet player Randy Brecker, Antonio Sanchez on drums and Scott Colley on bass. Werner has written many original compositions featuring trios and other small group configurations, but in the mid 1980’s, he became the pianist for the Mel Lewis Orchestra (currently known as the Village Vanguard Orchestra). Challenged by Mel and Bob Brookmeyer to write for the band, he produced his first compositions and arrangements for jazz orchestra, consequently leading him to write for the major bands in Europe including the Cologne, Danish, and Stockholm Jazz Orchestras, The Umo Jazz Orchestra of Finland and several times as the guest composer and soloist with the Metropole Orchestra of Holland. He released two CDs with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Werner has had many commissions to write for large ensembles such as jazz orchestras, full orchestras and most recently, wind ensemble, choir and string quartet as featured on his latest CD, No Beginning, No End. Werner’s groundbreaking work on improvisation, Effortless Mastery – Liberating the Master Musician Within, was published in 1996. Using his life experiences as a microscope into the artist’s mind, Effortless Mastery is a guide to distill the emotional, spiritual, and psychological aspects of an artist’s life. Werner continues to teach and give clinics in the United States and abroad. He is currently an Artist-in-Residence at New York University. Werner was awarded the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for his seminal work, No Beginning No End, a musical journey exploring tragedy and loss, death and transition, and the path from one lifetime to the next. Utilizing over 70 musicians, the album is an expansive composition featuring Joe Lovano, Judy Silvano, Wind Ensemble, Choir and String Quartet. Kenny Werner’s influence is unsurpassed. He has impacted an entire generation of musicians and artists. Despite his creative output, Kenny is still focused on the music. “I am still more and more aware of the true purpose of the music and the people who play it: to heal and unite the planet.”

http://kennywerner.com/

Location

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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