pfister hotel

Michael Weiss Trio at Blu

Saturday, June 23 | 8pm – 12am
Blu Milwaukee
424 East Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Located on the 23rd floor of the Pfister Hotel
Phone: (414) 298-3196

Pianist Michael Weiss, grand prize winner of the 2000 BMI/Thelonious Monk Institute Composers Competition, has established a formidable reputation working with such names as Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer and Wynton Marsalis. In addition to his demand as a sideman, Weiss’ role as bandleader, recording artist, composer, arranger and educator have earned him accolades from both audiences and critics:

“…one of the most dynamic young pianists in jazz”
Chicago Tribune

“…focuses the intensity of a tune as well as any pianist in mainstream jazz”
New York Times

“…writes with thought-provoking originality”
JazzTimes

“…one of the most dependable pianists on the scene”
The New Yorker

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Geoffrey Keezer & Gillian Margot at Blu

Blu Milwaukee
23rd floor of the Historic Pfister Hotel
424 E Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 298-3196

Friday, August 26th and Saturday August 27th, 2016, 8pm-midnight

Geoffrey Keezer, piano
Gillian Margot, voice


With his highly regarded discography, unique compositions, and acclaimed performances in a variety of configurations, pianist Geoffrey Keezer commands the attention typically reserved for the living legends of jazz. Whether recording with jazzy chanteuses Diana Krall or Dianne Reeves, touring with trumpet king Chris Botti, or collaborating with pop icon Sting, sax legend Wayne Shorter, guitar wizard Jim Hall, star bassist Christian McBride or vibes master Joe Locke, Geoffrey “has more than enough virtuosity and sheer musical wit and intelligence to weave all of his apparently disparate strands of influence into an original and compelling whole” (Time Magazine).

A native of Eau Claire, WI, Keezer was playing in jazz clubs as a teenager, holding down the piano chair for Art Blakey at age 18, and touring in the company of Joshua Redman, Benny Golson and Ray Brown in his 20s. More recently he has toured with David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Joe Locke and Christian McBride; worked with vocalist Denise Donatelli on projects garnering three GRAMMY® nominations, and released a series of albums drawing influences from Hawaiian, Okinawan and Afro-Peruvian folk traditions. Perhaps the most exciting turn in Geoffrey’s career is his recent focus on solo piano and his first solo release in thirteen years, Heart of the Piano (2013, Motema Records). On a mission to redefine solo jazz piano as a personal and interactive showcase of melody, energy and groove, Keezer brings to Heart of the Piano his most direct and focused artistry to date.

Geoffrey Keezer’s singular style of intellectually abstract lyricism woven over exotically complex rhythms and harmonies makes him one of the most sought-after artists on the modern jazz scene. Regardless of the nature of his projects, from solo to duo to quartet, from bandleader to big band, from post bop jazz to electronica to global fusion, from composer to arranger, Geoffrey delivers music from the heart of the piano to the ear–and heart–of the listener.

 

Joe Magnarelli Quartet at Blu

Blu Milwaukee
23rd floor of the Historic Pfister Hotel
424 E Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 298-3196

Saturday, January 16, 2016 – 8-midnight, no cover

Joe Magnarelli, trumpet
Dave Stoler, piano
Chuck Ledvina, bass
Dave Bayles, drums


Syracuse native Joe Magnarelli moved to New York City in 1986 and soon became a regular participant in the New York and international jazz scene. From 1987, he toured and recorded with Lionel Hampton and Brother Jack McDuff.

Joe currently has nine records out as a leader, and has played on numerous jazz labels as a sideman. In 1990, Joe was a semifinalist at the Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition in Washington, D.C.

Joe made his debut as a leader with 1994’s “Why Not” (Criss Cross). He followed that excellent album with three others on the Criss Cross label: “Always There” (1997), “Mr. Mags” (2000) and “Hoop Dreams” (2005).

He subsequently released “Persistence” (2007) and “My Old Flame” (2010), his first big band recording as a leader. He also made two albums co-leading a sextet with the legendary Philadelphia trumpeter John Swana: “Philly-New York Junction” (1998), and “New York-Philly Junction” (2003).
In 2003-2006, Mags performed with the great Latin jazz conguero Ray Barretto’s New Sextet. Joe recorded on Ray’s “Time Was, Time Is” (O+ Music), which was nominated for a Grammy.

Joe’s early career included touring and recording with Lionel Hampton, Jack McDuff, Toshiko Akioshi, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Harry Connick Jr. and the Hard Bop Quintet.

Also, Joe has worked and toured with the Vanguard Orchestra, Jane Monheit, Jon Hendricks, Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Alvin Queen, Dado Maroni, Marty Sheller, Tom Harrell Big Band, George Gruntz, Harry Whitaker, Walt Weiskopf, Grant Stewart, Charles Davis, Nick Brignola, JR Monterose, Gary Smulyan, The Carnegie Hall Orchestra, Don Sebesky, John Pizzarelli, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Michael Feinstein, and the Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Joe is currently an adjunct professor of music at the Juilliard School of Music and Rutgers University. He also conducts clinics and master classes around the world, sharing his musical experience and his knowledge from his past teachers. These teachers have included Jack Palmer, Sal Amico, Tommy Turrentine, James Moody, Garry Dial, Arnold Jacobs, and William Vachianno.

Mags, as he is known, first played music at age 12, starting with guitar and trumpet lessons. He also picked out songs on the piano by ear. Joe’s early performance experience, from elementary through high school, came via playing the trumpet and guitar in church. Later, while attending Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, he was the pianist and choir director at the Central Baptist Church there.

In 1986, Joe received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the State University of New York in Fredonia, and that year, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in music.

Rick Germanson Trio at Blu

Blu Milwaukee
23rd floor of the Historic Pfister Hotel
424 E Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 298-3196

Saturday, January 2, 2016 – 8-midnight, no cover

Rick Germanson, piano
Jim Paolo, bass
Dave Bayles, drums



RICK GERMANSON
has been a highly in-demand pianist on the New York City Jazz scene for well over a decade. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rick relocated to New York City in 1998. Rick won the GRAND PRIZE at The American Pianists’ Association Jazz Piano Competition in 1996. He was awarded “Best of New Talent” in 2004 by All About Jazz NYC.

Rick has four recordings out as a leader: The first two are on Fresh Sound New Talent: “HEIGHTS” and “YOU TELL ME”. His recording “OFF THE CUFF” on Owl Studios reached #15 on the Jazz Radio Play Charts. The latest is on SmallsLive “RICK GERMANSON: LIVE AT SMALL’S”. Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines have given Rick’s recordings rave reviews. Rick has also been documented on over forty recordings as a sideman with many of the top musicians in jazz today.

Since 2001 to the present, Rick has been touring and recording with The Cannonball Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes. From 2003-2008 Rick also toured with master guitarist Pat Martino. Currently, Rick is also the pianist for guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Kyle Eastwood, trombonist Papo Vazquez’s Mighty Pirates Troubadours among many others.

Rick has performed throughout the world, at the top festivals, concert halls and clubs with the following jazz artists: Elvin Jones’ Jazz Machine; Louis Hayes; Jimmy Cobb; Grady Tate; Pat Martino; Russell Malone; Dr. Eddie Henderson; Tom Harrell; Brian Lynch; Jeremy Pelt; Jim Rotondi; Duane Eubanks; Curtis Fuller; Slide Hampton; Papo Vazquez; Frank Lacy; Steve Davis; Delfeayo Marsalis; Cecil Payne; Charles Davis; Frank Morgan; Charles MacPherson; Donald Harrison; Vincent Herring; Sherman Irby; George Coleman; Javon Jackson; Eric Alexander; Craig Handy; Wayne Escoffrey; Steve Nelson; Marlena Shaw; Kevin Mohagany; Carolyn Leonhart; Regina Carter; Gerald Cannon; Jay Leonhart; Mingus Dynasty; Ray Mantilla and Space Station.

Rick is also an experienced educator, having given clinics and master classes at such institutes as New York University; The Juilliard School; Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is currently on faculty at The Jackie McLean Institute at The Hartt School of Music at The University of Hartford.