RanBlake 300.jpgNew England Conservatory faculty member and pianist/composer Ran Blake celebrates his 83rd birthday with a solo concert 

Performance on Saturday, August 18 at NYC's Jazz at Kitano

Programs feature music from Film Noir, tribute to Abbey Lincoln

"Ran Blake is so hip it hurts...a pianist who can make you laugh at his dry humor one second and wring a tear the next."—DownBeat

Pianist/composer and NEC faculty member Ran Blake celebrates his 83rd birthday with a solo concert on Saturday, August 18 at Jazz at Kitano, The Kitano Hotel, 66 Park Avenue at 38th Street, New York City. Sets at 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets $34 with $20 food minimum. For information and reservations call 212-885-7119 or visit www.kitano.com

Inspirations- Blake's first set, Film Noir, will present music from and inspired by Dr. Mabuse by Konrad Elfers), Taxi Driver by Bernard Hermann, and Touch of Evil by Blake. An Alfred Hitchock section features "Miss Up-To-Date" from Blackmail by Billy Mayerl, "The Merry Widow Waltz" from A Shadow of a Doubt by Franz Lehar, "And the Band Played On" from Strangers on a Train by Charles B. Ward, "Que Sera, Sera" from The Man Who Knew Too Much by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, and "Vertigo" from Vertigo by Bernard Hermann. A segment dedicated to Marlon Brando includes music from The Godfather by Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola, A Streetcar Named Desireby Alex North, The Wild One by Leith Stevens, and Last Tango in Paris by Gato Barbieri, in addition to traditional Northern and Southern Italian folk songs in honor of The Godfather.

The evening's second set titled Nothing But the Truth is dedicated to Abbey Lincoln and features Tender As a Rose (Phil Moore); Love Lament (R.B. Lynch); Mendacity(Max Roach); When Malindy Sings (Paul Laurence Dunbar, Oscar Brown Jr.); The Music Is the Magic (Abbey Lincoln); Laugh, Clown, Laugh (Ted Fiorito, Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young); Straight Ahead (Mal Waldron); Freedom Day (Max Roach); When Autumn Sings (R.B. Lynch); Driva Man (Max Roach); and Throw It Away(Abbey Lincoln).

Legacy- In a career that now spans five decades, pianist Ran Blake has created a unique niche in improvised music as an artist and educator. With a characteristic mix of spontaneous solos, modern classical tonalities, the great American blues and gospel traditions, and themes from classic Film Noir, Blake's singular sound has earned a dedicated following all over the world. His dual musical legacy includes more than 40 albums on some of the world's finest jazz labels, as well as nearly 40 years as a groundbreaking educator at New England Conservatory. Blake's teaching approach emphasizes what he calls "the primacy of the ear," which elevates the listening process to the same status as the written score. For more information visit www.ranblake.com/.

The Program- Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation (CI) program is "one of the most versatile in all of music education" (JazzEd). CI trains composers, performers, and improvisers to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices. It is unparalleled in its structured approach to ear training and its emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication, aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness. Under Blake's inspired guidance for its first thirty-three years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current co-chairs Hankus Netsky and Eden MacAdam-Somer. Alumni include Don Byron, John Medeski, Jacqueline Schwab, Aoife O'Donovan and Sarah Jarosz; faculty include Carla Kihlstedt, Blake, Dominique Eade, and Anthony Coleman. "A thriving hub of musical exploration," (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe), the program currently has more than 50 undergrad and graduate students from 14 countries.

About New England Conservatory
Celebrating its 150th anniversary, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools, educating and training musicians of all ages from around the world. With music students representing more than 40 countries, NEC cultivates a diverse, dynamic community for students, providing them with performance opportunities and high-caliber training by 225 internationally-esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC pushes the boundaries of making and teaching music through college-level musical training in classical, jazz and Contemporary Improvisation. It offers unique interdisciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Performances & Partnerships that empower students to create their own musical opportunities. As part of NEC's mission to make lifelong music education available to everyone, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education delivers training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.

Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867 by Eben Tourjée, NEC created a new model of conservatory that combined the best of European tradition with American innovation. NEC is at the center of Boston's rich cultural history and musical life offering concerts performed in NEC's renowned venue Jordan Hall. Alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios and arts management positions worldwide.


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