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Richard Galliano & Friends: MAY 1- 3

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Phenomenal accordionist Richard Galliano, who regularly plays to enthusiastic European audiences, will make a rare New York appearance with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Clarence Penn. Galliano is one of the most influential composers of modern works for accordion performing today. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 1, 2 & 3, 2003 at 8pm in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Galliano will present a revitalized musical tradition of European folk with a jazz sensibility. He succeeds in expanding the emotional range of this folk music to reflect modern sentiments, opening it up to improvisation informed by American jazz. Tickets at $45 are available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or via www.jazzatlincolncenter.org.

All Jazz at the Penthouse concerts take place in the intimate, club-like setting of the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, where the audience enjoys candlelight, spectacular views of the city, and complimentary wine (for patrons age 21 and over). The remaining Jazz at the Penthouse concerts of the 2002-03 season, all taking place in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, are:

  • May 27-31, 2003, 8pm Music of the Masters: The music of James Black Featuring Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis and Idris Muhammad.
  • June 5-7, 2003, 8pm Music of the Mastars: The music of Herbie Nichols Featuring The Herbie Nichols Project, pianist Frank Kimbrough, LCJO saxophonist Ted Nash and bassist Ben Allison.

Accordionist Richard Gallianos innovations with European folk music - specifically, the early-20th-century French ballroom dance form known as musette - have been compared with what his mentor Astor Piazzolla did for the Argentinean tango. In fact, Galliano is more of a jazz musician than a folk one, although he has blurred the lines so much that distinctions are often difficult to make. Born in France to Italian parents, Galliano began playing accordion (as his father did) at a young age. He later picked up the trombone and studied composition at the Academy in Nice; he also fell in love with jazz as a teenager, particularly cool-era Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, and made it his primary focus by the late 1960s. Making a living as a jazz accordionist naturally proved difficult; fortunately, after moving to Paris in 1973, he landed a position as conductor, arranger, and composer for Claude Nougaro's orchestra. He remained there until 1976, and went on to work with numerous American and European jazz luminaries including Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Toots Thielemans, Ron Carter, Michel Petrucciani, and Jan Garbarek. After meeting Astor Piazzolla, Galliano refocused on his European heritage and set about reviving and updating musette, widely considered antiquated at the time. He signed with Dreyfus in 1993, and the label gave him enough exposure to cause a stir first in his home country, then among international jazz and world music fans. Regular recordings followed, some with clarinetist/soprano saxophonist Michel Portal, some with guitarist Jean Marie Ecay, some with his favorite rhythm section of bassist Jean-Franois Jenny-Clark and drummer Daniel Humair (after Jenny-Clark's untimely death, Rmi Vignolo took his place). In 2001, Dreyfus released Gallianissimo, a compilation drawing from his seven albums for the label.

Listing Information:
Date/Time: Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 1, 2 & 3, 2003, 8pm
Place: Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 160 W. 65th Street at Amsterdam
Event: SPECIAL ENSEMBLES: RICHARD GALLIANO & FRIENDS
Tickets: $45, available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, by calling CenterCharge at (212)721-6500, or via www.jazzatlincolncenter.org.

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