TONIGHT: The Mike Pellera Trio presents their Tribute to Bill Evans on the late pianist's birthday.
MICHAEL PELLERA ON BILL EVANS:
"Bill Evans is one of the most innovative and influential pianists in the history of Jazz. He had the rare ability to make any standard sound as if he had written it himself. His trio performances always featured the equal interplay of the piano, bass, and drums. The players on my trio -- drummer, John Vidacovich, and bassist, Grayson Brockamp -- are perfectly suited for this style of playing.
We will be performing Evans' iconic versions of standards such as: 'My Foolish Heart,' 'Detour Ahead,' 'The Peacocks,' and 'Gloria’s Step.' In addition, we will also be performing some of his original compositions, including: 'Funkalero,' 'We Will Meet Again,' 'Blue in Green,' and 'Very Early.'"
Michael Pellera is one of the most respected pianists in the New Orleans modern jazz scene. Not only is he a pioneer in music education as the jazz chair at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA), he also has a complete discography of his own, featuring players like Johnny Vidacovich, Bill Summers, Tony Dagradi, Steve Masakowski and Bill Huntington. You can find him serving as musical director for several local leading vocalists bands, or simply backing up some of New Orleans' other renowned musicians around town, including many popular festivals.
After studying at Berklee College of Music, Pellera has been a jazz educator serving New Orleans since 1989. He taught jazz piano and improvisation for 15 years at Loyola University before joining NOCCA's faculty in 2002, and there he has since mentored several New Orleans music stars like Jon Batiste and Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah Scott when they were students.
In the last 25 years, he has lived in New Orleans and New York, giving his music a unique perspective that draws freely from the influences of the two cities. As a composer, he has created a body of work that encompasses modern jazz harmony, indigenous New Orleans rhythms, and elements of the classic American songbook of the 1930s & 1940s.
He has released two critically acclaimed albums of his jazz compositions. His first CD, “Cloud Nine,” was released in 1997 and his second recording, “Son of Sky,” was released in 2001. Both albums featured a veritable “who’s who” of the New Orleans modern jazz scene, such as Bill Huntington, Johnny Vidacovich, Steve Masakowski, Tony Dagradi, Bill Summers, James Singleton, and Phillip Manuel.
As an arranger and producer, Pellera has worked in a variety of contexts from trio to big band. He has performed with a multitude of great jazz artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Buddy Rich, Branford Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, and Harry Connick Jr. Some of his former students include Brian Blade, Jon Cowherd, Jonathan Batiste, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Rich Vogel, and others who have since created distinguished careers for themselves with artists like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, Liz Wright, Joni Mitchell, Lenny Kravitz, and popular New Orleans funk band Galactic.
Tonight, the Michael Pellera Quartet presents a Tribute to Bill Evans, on the late pianist's birthday, featuring: Mike Pellera - piano Grayson Brockamp - bass Johnny Vidacovich - drums