Pablo Ziegler nominated for Grammy: "Best Latin Jazz Album"

Tango maestro Pablo Ziegler - the Buenos Aires-born pianist and composer who helped shape the modern tango - is nominated for a Grammy for his latest release, Jazz Tango, for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Ziegler joins Lalo Schifrin and Gato Barbieri as one of the few Argentine artists ever to be nominated for a Grammy. It also marks the first time for a nuevo tango release to be acknowledged with a nomination.

On Jazz Tango, Pablo Ziegler presents his US-based trio featuring bandoneonist Hector del Curto and guitarist Claudio Ragazzi. They play three nuevo tango standards by Astor Piazzolla - whose pianist Ziegler was for many years - and seven soulful, virtuosic originals by Ziegler.

This is Ziegler's first-ever Grammy nomination, and follows a win for Best Tango Album, along with four additional nominations from 2005 to 2016, at the Latin Grammys.

Lemon Wire

"With Pablo Ziegler's new CD, "Jazz Tango," the tango lives and breathes - a common theme in Ziegler's work; to ordinary people, there seems only so much a person can do with a tango. On this release, the music moves as if it possessed its own blood and limbs, and renders the tango a sinewy and electric thing, a move that impresses old and new fans alike."

Jazz Weekly

"Filled with complex moves, sensuality and drama as the strings are tapped, strummed and spliced. The dynamics rise and fall like a wave on "La Fundicion" and Old World charms are in abundance on "Elegante Canyenguito." Ziegler is misty-eyed on "Milonga Del Adios" and the team plays a game of Peek-A-Boo on the clever "Blues Porteno.""

Listen to selections from JazzTango:

Watch a trailer for the Pablo Ziegler Jazz Tango Trio:

Tanya Tagaq joins star-studded list of performers at Carnegie Hall for the Pathway to Paris climate justice event


Continuing her landmark ascent into stardom, Tanya Tagaq joins Patti Smith, Michael Stipe, Cat Power, Talib Kweli, Flea, and others, for a Pathway to Paris climate justice event at Carnegie Hall. In the lead up to COP 23 taking place in Bonn, Germany, Pathway to Paris in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme are organizing a concert event at Carnegie Hall with incredible musicians and leading thinkers to highlight the importance of making Paris Agreement a reality. Pathway to Paris will be announcing a new initiative at the event called 1000 cities, inviting all cities of the world to transition to 100% renewables by 2040. All proceeds from the event will be donated to, Pathway to Paris, and the UNDP.

Meanwhile, Tagaq just put out her latest music video, "Sivulivinivut," and recently released a new track, "Frostbite" for Adult Swim's singles series.

Listen to the Adult Swim single here. Watch the new video here. Learn more about Tanya Tagaq here.

Jenny Scheinman's Kannapolis - a critical darling


Jenny Scheinman continues to earn glowing critical acclaim for her live music and film project Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait, and the accompanying album, Here On Earth. Kannapolis has already traveled to many major venues, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, U of Vermont, Middlebury College, the Capitol Center for the Arts, U of Missouri, U of St. Joseph, Portland Ovations, and many others, with goals to bring it to the West Coast in the upcoming season as it continues to tour throughout the U.S.

Here are just a few of the many recent press highlights:

  • "Packed with moments of joyous ecstasy and wind-swept solemnity... [Scheinman is] a meticulous interpreter of emotion and a composer of cinematic vision and scope... Timeless."

    Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat Magazine 
  • "At their bittersweet best, Scheinman and company both evoked and musically commented upon the broader aspects of the period culture... a presentation that confirmed the powers of film and music to provide materials for a deeper understanding of, as well as a fuller appreciation for, the times of our lives."

     Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald 
  • "A dusty yet revelatory blast from the past... Scheinman's songs celebrate Kannapolis, North Carolina's alter ego as the City of Looms, meditate on small-town movie culture, and contain at least one immortal line in "You got those 'n' I got these, / I can share my cooties with who I please."

    Richard Gehr, The Village Voice

Learn more about Jenny Scheinman's Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait here.

Pablo Ziegler releases new Trio CD: Jazz Tango


Tango maestro Pablo Ziegler's latest trio album Jazz Tango has been earning high praise from critics.

Here are some highlights:

  • "Romantic, moving, kinetic, majestic and sexy... with only guitar (Claudio Ragazzi) and that lovable, ever-present squeezebox accordion known as a bandoneon (Hector Del Curto), Ziegler makes magic."

    Mike Greenblatt, Goldmine Magazine
  • "The music moves as if it possessed its own blood and limbs, and renders the tango a sinewy and electric thing, a move that impresses old and new fans alike."

    Dodie Miller-Gould, Lemonwire
  • "A masterful work by a master that loves tango so much he'd rather use his energy and smarts to move the form forward in fine style rather than keep it embalmed in amber."

    Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Learn more about the Pablo Ziegler JazzTango Trio here.

Paul Dresher's Sound Maze fascinates visitors young and old


Acclaimed composer, performer and instrument inventor Paul Dresher continues to bring wonder to curious audiences and museum-goers with his interactive installation known as Sound Maze.

Writes Leah Garchik for The San Francisco Chronicle:

"Fascinated adults listened to explanations, and kids jumped into action, making noise by hitting, strumming, pinging Dresher's instruments... I watched as 5-year-old Felix Boucou, who was there with his mom, played the Big Wheel. He picked up a variety of wooden balls, sent them down a chute, turned a wheel to pop them against a wooden surface and bounce them through a hole, through which they went cascading down a set of metal pipes. Young Felix moved from one side to the other, reaching up for those balls, bending down to listen to that silvery sound. He set a great example, so I did it, too."

Get the full SF Chronicle article and video feature here (scroll down to the second half for the section about Sound Maze). Learn more about Paul Dresher's Sound Maze here.

Yumi Kurosawa releases her solo Koto arrangement of Vivaldi's Four Seasons

The newest addition to the Bernstein Artists roster, koto virtuoso Yumi Kurosawa, released her latest album, her exquisite solo koto arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons. 

Listen to a movement here. Learn more about Yumi Kurosawa here.

Koto Player Yumi Kurosawa Joins the Bernstein Artists Roster


We're proud to welcome koto virtuoso Yumi Kurosawa to our touring roster. One of today's most exciting soloists on Japan's national instrument, Kurosawa's koto repertoire includes classical Japanese compositions, as well as her own innovative and enchanting original works. She has played at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Apollo Theater and been principal soloist with the Tokyo Symphony, the Orchestra of the Swan and Houston Grand Opera among others.  Her many collaborations have included a piece with the Beyonce-affiliated dance duo Les Twins.

Kurosawa has been described by Allan Kozinn of The New York Times as "an inventive, seemingly cosmopolitan composer... Ms. Kurosawa presents her themes gracefully and then undertakes intricate, sometimes adventurous variations, drawing on a timbral palette that ranged from warm and rounded to bright and metallic." 

She is currently working on a collaborative program with tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee, son of the world-renowned tabla master Anindo Chatterjee. She'll also be playing a special concert at the Kennedy Center celebrating the re-opening of the Terrace Theater where she will be joined by guest artist, hip hop dancer Virgil Gadson, for a special collaboration.

Kurosawa was just interviewed in a profile for Wall Street International. Learn more about Yumi Kurosawa here.

Tanya Tagaq shortlisted for 2017 Polaris Prize, subject of new documentary


After winning the prestigious Polaris Music Prize for her 2014 album, Animism, celebrated experimental vocalist Tanya Tagaq has been nominated a second time for her latest release, Retribution. Tagaq will perform at the Polaris Prize gala in September. This year's shortlist also includes albums from Feist, Leonard Cohen, and BADBADNOTGOOD.

Tagaq is getting ready to release a new music video for "Sivulivinivut," the latest single from Retribution. Meanwhile, she's the subject of a new feature-length documentary that's being prepared for a 2018 premiere. Tagaq will be officially confirmed as a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honours, at a ceremony in Ottawa on August 25.

Sirius Quartet's Gregor Huebner wins Grand Prize from NY Phil for new work; inspires new program: New World


Sirius violinist Gregor Huebner recently won the Grand Prize in the New York Philharmonic's New World Initiative Composition Challenge. The contest was open to all NYC-based composers with the challenge being to create an original composition based on one or more themes from Dvorak's New World Symphony.

Huebner's New World Nov. 9 2016 serves as a daring critique of our current tumultuous politics. Contrasting idyllic, hopeful themes of Dvorak's Largo from New World Symphony with the brutal gestures of Shostakovich String Quartet #8, Huebner encapsulates the changing attitudes towards the immigrant experience in America. The work is the centerpiece of a new concert program of original compositions and covers that reflect on today's uncertainty and instability while, in the end, creating a prevailing feeling of hope for the future.

Donal Fox announces new project with poet Quincy Troupe


Donal Fox is unveiling a new collaboration with renowned poet Quincy Troupe.  The two are reuniting for the first time since their work together on Donal Fox's 1997 album Gone City (New World Records), which The Green Mountain Jazz Messenger described as "powerful vernacular poems of African-American experience. These are not only enhanced by Fox's keyboard and string embroidery, but in effect turned into songs... Fox is an astoundingly swift and alert collaborator, and his running pianistic commentaries reinforce Troupe's impassioned delivery of his works."

The new program, Star Spangled Banner Fractured, is a vehicle to inspire, educate, and fuel dialogue in the critical fight for social justice in America.

Learn more about this project here.

Twelve Hours: Argentina Meets Japan


Pablo Ziegler with guest artists

Hector Del Curto, bandoneon
Yumi Kurosawa, koto

Named for the time difference between the port cities of Buenos Aires and Yokohama, this program explores a marriage of Argentine nuevo tango with Japanese traditional music, while celebrating the long legacy of the tango in Japan. The tango arrived in Japan in the 1920's and its popularity boomed through the 30's and 40's, spurred in part by the prohibition of American jazz during World War II. Ziegler, who first visited Japan in 1988 while on tour with his longtime collaborator Astor Piazzolla, has held a longstanding interest in Japanese traditional music ever since this first encounter. 

The evening will include solo and duo works from each culture, and culminate in the piece 12 Horas, commissioned from Pablo Ziegler by the Yokohama Noh Theater and the Yokohama Arts Foundation and premiered at Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama in February 2016. 12 Horas is a mixed ensemble suite that celebrates the respectful exchange between these two vital cultural traditions, combining shakuhachi (traditional Japanese vertical bamboo flute), koto (traditional Japanese harp), bandoneon, piano, percussion and string quintet. With 12 Horas, Ziegler brings these traditional Japanese timbres in dialogue with the bittersweet sounds of Argentine tango.

Learn more about the program here.

Cyro Baptista brings 'Sound of the Community' to Buffalo


Percussion maverick Cyro Baptista recently realized the latest iteration of his 'Sound of the Community' project in Buffalo, NY in the last week of July. In this version, he conducted free daily inclusive music workshops along with collaborators Billy Martin (Medeski Martin & Wood) and keyboardist Brian Marsella. 

The community workshops coincided with Baptista's artist residency at Artpark, during which he collaborated with Buffalo-based sculptor Shasti O'Leary Soudant and students from the University of Buffalo to create an interactive, sound-generating public art work called "Beat Blossom." Baptista created an original composition that was performed at the installation's opening event.

Watch video from a previous iteration of Sound of the Community in Aguascalientes, Mexico here.

Pablo Ziegler offers new quartet program: Tango Suites


Tango maestro Pablo Ziegler - the Buenos Aires-born, Latin Grammy-winning pianist and composer who helped shape the modern tango - brings the rich Argentine musical tradition into a chamber music setting with his latest concert program: Tango Suites. 

The program features Ziegler's arrangement of his late, longtime collaborator Astor Piazzolla's iconic suite, Silfo y Ondina.  Ziegler, who was pianist for Piazzolla for over a decade and played on many of his most iconic recordings, is widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Piazzolla's music. Ziegler pairs the Piazzolla suite with his own tango suite: Buenos Aires, a tribute to the city of his birth and the ground zero of tango music and dance. Finally, Ziegler presents his Rhapsody in Tango, a brand new chamber work inspired by Gershwin's famous Rhapsody in Blue.

Learn more about the new program here.

Paul Dresher offers new program for Invented Instrument Duo with Joel Davel


Acclaimed composer, performer and instrument inventor Paul Dresher pairs up with percussionist Joel Davel for a new evening-length duo program that finds them performing live on a pair of large-scale invented musical instruments. Allan Kozinn, writing for the Portland Press Herald describes the project as "supremely inventive... The novelty of the instruments, not to mention Dresher's and Davel's imaginative use of them, gave the proceedings an exciting sense of mystery and surprise."

Playing the 15-foot Quadrachord or the 10-foot Hurdy Grande, both controlled by the late synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla's magical Marimba Lumina, Dresher and Davel create lush textures and rhythmically propulsive grooves that fascinate the ear and the eye. Exploring unique sound-colors amplified by live digital looping, this electroacoustic duo creates complex sonic layers as rich as a full orchestra.

Meanwhile, Dresher's interactive installation Sound Maze of large scale invented instruments has been receiving praise from critics and audience during its 3-month residency at the Napa Valley Museum.  It will next travel to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Learn more about the Invented Instrument Duo here.

Rob Schwimmer preps for Theremin 100th anniversary

Serious Theremin © Steve J. Sherman.jpg

Pianist and theremin virtuoso Rob Schwimmer has been earning critical acclaim for his contributions to the Mark Morris Dance Group's Pepperland, a new dance work inspired by the Beatles's Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, with a score by Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus) that re-imagines music from the iconic album. Writes London Jazz News

"The feel throughout is perhaps part Berlin cabaret, part woozy Nino Rota, with the sound of the theremin absolutely key, although Schwimmer's virtuosity makes it closer to a second, female, vocal line to complement the deeper register of Clinton Curtis, echoing the classical recordings of Clara Rockmore - the instrument's most celebrated exponent, and inventor Lev Theremin's great protege - more than the usual cheapo science fiction-signifier."

Schwimmer is wrapping up work on a new album of original solo piano works that will be offered as a touring program. Schwimmer will also be organizing a major event in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the development of the theremin in 2019, including new commissions for contemporary theremin works.

Learn more about Rob Schwimmer here.