“Peace is always beautiful.”
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
In addition to pulling this incredible project together, Min Kwon is a fabulous pianist. These four small variations pay tribute to the various ethnic groups that make up our country - and are a challenge (and I hope fun) to play. Moods ranging from profoundly sad to joyous and celebratory are contained in this mini-set.
A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist. With some fifty albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, he’s a 15-time Grammy Award nominee who continues to earn jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association. Proclaimed “a living legend” by The New Yorker, Hersch has long defined jazz’s creative edge in a wide variety of settings, from his breathtaking solo recitals and exploratory duos to his extraordinary trios and innovative chamber settings. As a composer, he is a recipient of a Guggenheim Felloswhip – and his recent releases, Live In Europe with his celebrated trio, and the 2020 solo disc Songs From Home are definitive statements. His acclaimed memoir Good Things Happen Slowly is now available from Crown Archetype Books.
Photo Credit: Mary McDonnell
As the artistic director of Center for Musical Excellence, I am always on the look out for new and undiscovered talents. They come to me, sometimes, by my colleagues’ recommendations and other times through young artists’ own research about our organization. Tyson Davis and Andrew Bambridge are currently on our roster of CME Young Artists, whom we mentor. Patricio Molina is a CME alumnus. Theo Chandler, Ji-Young Ko, and Daniel Newman-Lessler applied for our Grant program, and I got to know their work through that process. I decide on young artists when I notice a deep passion and drive within them, plus a certain kind of sparkle in the personality and lots of humility. In addition to musical talents, I believe these are the qualities that will take the young artists far. CME’s motto is "Moving Musicians Forward". I’ve chosen our Discovery Composers based on these qualities, whom we felt we could easily move forward.
- Min Kwon