Keyboard wizardry on tap at Belleayre

Highmount — Keyboard wizardry is in the spotlight when the Belleayre Music Festival presents the Bill Charlap Trio on Friday, Aug. 9 and Kenny Barron’s 70th Birthday Celebration with his Platinum Quintet on Saturday, Aug. 10.

The final two shows of this season’s Catskill Mountain Jazz Series will showcase the unparalled talents of two of jazz’s preeminent piano masters.

Pianist Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with many leading artists of our time, ranging from jazz masters Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis to singers Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand.
Since 1997, he has led the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz.
A two-time Grammy nominee, Bill is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Time magazine wrote, “Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”

Bill is the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y, and he has produced concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, the JVC Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.
One of the all-time great jazz pianists, Kenny Barron will mark his 70th birthday with accompaniment by a “who’s who” of the some of the most accomplished players on today’s jazz scene, including Miles Okazaki, Marcus Strickland, Lee Pearson and Linda Oh.
Kenny Barron’s unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms is what inspired The Los Angeles Times to name him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” and Jazz Weekly to call him, “The most lyrical piano player of our time.”

Kenny consistently wins jazz critics’ and readers’ polls, including Downbeat, Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines. In 2005, he was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame and won a MAC Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a six-time recipient of Best Pianist by the Jazz Journalists’ Association and was a finalist in the 2001 Jazz Par International Jazz Award.

Whether he is playing solo, trio or quintet, Kenny is recognized the world over as a master of performance and composition.
Tickets for the Belleayre Jazz Club show are $26 for general admission. Tickets for Kenny Barron’s Platinum Quintet range from $26-$66.

Broadway and More
It’s Broadway at Belleayre on Saturday, Aug. 17 when song-and-dance legend Ben Vereen takes the stage.
The festival presents Comedy in the Catskills II with Harrison Greenbaum performing on Friday, Aug. 23. Veteran funny woman Rita Rudner headlines on Saturday, Aug. 24.
The season closes in theatrical rock style with The Music of Pink Floyd on Saturday, Aug. 31.
All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for all shows are on sale via Ticketmaster. For additional information, please call 800 942-6904, ext. 1344, visit: belleayremusic.org