Igor Butman and Yuri Bashmet Team up for "Crossover Concerto"


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Igor Butman, Russia’s “Most Celebrated Jazz Man” (JazzTimes), and Yuri Bashmet, the “Most Formidable” (New York Times) Violist Today Team Up for Crossover Concerto

Eight-City U.S. Tour Kicks Off on February 20 in Seattle and Ends on March 1 in Chicago, with stops in LA, SF, Cleveland, North Bethesda (MD), Boston, and NYC

Igor Butman’s Latest CD Magic Land Garners Rave Reviews

New York, NY - Three years ago, saxophone virtuoso Igor Butman and viola maestro Yuri Bashmet teamed up for Crossover Concerto, an intrepid dialogue between Jazz and Classical, which premiered in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. The cultural tour-de-force, “an organic work that succeeds in drawing out the best from this unusual combination” (New York Sun), was “a musical exchange with the best Russia has to offer” (New York Times).

Igor Butman and Yuri Bashmet return with their talents and orchestras this February with an eight-city tour across the U.S. with performances at prestigious theaters and concert halls: Seattle (Benaroya Hall on February 20); Los Angeles (Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills on February 21); San Francisco (Palace of Fine Arts Theatre on February 22); Cleveland, OH (Severance Hall on February 24); North Bethesda, MD, near Washington, D.C. (Strathmore Hall on February 25); Boston (Symphony Hall on February 27); New York City (Avery Fisher Hall – Lincoln Center on February 28); and Chicago (Orchestra Hall on March 1).

Crossover Concerto will feature works from the classical repertoire of the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra — which along with its conductor Yuri Bashmet, garnered a GRAMMY® Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance, Classical, in 2008 — and jazz arrangements of Russian classics by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, performed by Igor Butman and his Big Band. Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra will come together with Igor Butman and his Big Band for critically acclaimed pianist/composer Igor Raykhelson’s “Jazz Suite for Viola, Saxophone, Piano, String Orchestra, and Big Band.” Also featured will be music from Igor Butman’s latest release, Magic Land, out now on Sony Classics.

Inspired by music from Russian movies and cartoons, Magic Land showcases Igor’s muscular tone, inventive rhythm, lyrical balladry, and joyful sound. Virtuosic yet effortless, joining Igor in “Magic Land” are the ever-versatile trumpeter Randy Brecker; young virtuoso on vibes Stefon Harris; master pianist Chick Corea; in-demand bassist John Patitucci; and legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette, who also produced the album.

Igor Butman, Russia’s number one jazz personality, is no stranger to the American audience. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Igor has performed and recorded with, in addition to Chick Corea and Jack DeJohnette, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Louie Bellson, Grover Washington Jr., Billy Taylor, Walter Davis Jr., Monty Alexander, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Gomez and Lyle Mays, among many others; and has performed at most major festivals in North America.

With the release of Magic Land, Igor has already attained a new level of renown: he landed on the covers of Billboard and Jazz Forum magazines, has topped jazz charts, and garnered a 4-1/2 star (out of five) review in the current issue of DownBeat magazine.

Crossover Concerto, a musical and cultural exchange between jazz and classical, and America and Russia, should bring Igor to an even wider audience.

Yuri Bashmet, widely considered to be the world's greatest living violist, has appeared with the top orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Philharmonic. Founded by Bashmet in 1992, the Moscow Soloists, a chamber ensemble comprising of exceptional young musicians nominated by professors at the Moscow Conservatory, has performed at Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London, among many others.

Igor Raykhelson, a New York City resident originally from St. Petersburg, studied jazz and classical piano at Leningrad's Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He tours internationally both as a jazz and classical pianist in solo and chamber appearances. Collaborations with Bashmet and Butman inspired him to compose the “Jazz Suite," a crossover piece combining both musical styles.

Crossover Concerto: Tour Dates

February 20, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA
February 21, Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA
February 22, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, CA
February 24, Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH
February 25, Strathmore Hall, North Bethesda, MD
February 27, Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
February 28, Avery Fisher Hall, New York, NY
March 1, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, IL

This story appears courtesy of Now Forward Music.
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