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Ben Allison & The Easy Way

Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present


Ben Allison & The Easy Way
The Music of Jim Hall & Jimmy Giuffre

Both Jim Hall and Jimmy Giuffre wrote tunes perfect for free-flowing and spontaneous musical conversations. The Easy Way is modeled after Giuffre’s drummerless trios of the 1950s and 60s. As jazz was becoming more abstract, expressionistic and at times bombastic, Giuffre and Hall were going in the opposite direction. They were envisioning quieter music that embraced the emerging qualities of free playing, while maintaining elements of blues and folk. This music has a unique kind of sophisticated simplicity that has stood the test of time.

$25 General Admission

In a career that spans over 30 years, Bassist/Composer/Producer/Educator Ben Allison has developed his own instantly identifiable sound, solidifying an international reputation as one of the leading voices of his generation. Known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves and hummable melodies, Ben draws from the jazz tradition and a range of influences from rock and folk to 20th century classical and world music, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole. With his groups The Ben Allison Band, Think Free, The Easy Way Trio, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Ben has toured extensively throughout the world, winning fans and building new audiences with an adventurous yet accessible sound and a flair for the unexpected.

Ben has released 13 albums of original music, 7 of which reached #1 on the radio charts, garnering him 9 SESAC Performance Awards. His most recent album, Quiet Revolution is the third to be released on his own Sonic Camera Records label. At the age of 25, he formed the Jazz Composers Collective, a non-profit organization that fostered and presented new music. He acted as the Collective’s Artistic Director from 1992 until 2005. He is currently the faculty of the New School in NYC and serves as President of the Recording Academy, NY Chapter. He wrote the theme for the popular NPR radio program On The Media, which is heard by over 1,500,000 listeners weekly and was a featured composer and performer with the Jazz Sinfonica, 80-piece symphony orchestra, Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2005, 2008 and 2013. Ben performed his Carnegie Hall debut as a leader in 2012.

Guitarist/Composer/Educator Steve Cardenas began his musical career in Kansas City and has been an integral part of the New York City jazz community since 1995. Steve has performed and recorded with many well-known and highly esteemed musicians. Notably, he was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band , Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Steve Swallow Quintet, and Joey Baron's, Killer Joey. Steve is currently a member of Ben Allison & Think Free, Jon Cowherd Mercy Project and John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia, performing at countless international music festivals, theaters, opera houses and clubs. Steve also leads his own trio and has released five recordings as a leader. His most recent album, Charlie & Paul, was released on Newvelle Records in 2018.

San Francisco-based Saxophonist/Composer Michael Zilber has released 11 albums as a leader to numerous rave reviews, the latest being “Zilber’s Originals for the Originals”, his homage to saxophone giants. Featuring jazz greats Dave Kikoski, James Genus and Clarence Penn, the album was released in early 2017, to rapturous response. In late 2016, he and guitar virtuoso John Stowell released Basement Blues, their 3rd recording together on Origin Records. Jazz legend Dave Liebman calls him “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” Zilber is currently a sideman in trumpeter/composer Erik Jekabson’s Stringtet, as well as playing and composing for the highly regarded Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, whose recent release Cheap Rent received 4.5 stars in DownBeat. Zilber also teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory where his student groups have won more than a dozen national DownBeatawards.

Earlier Event: October 27
Conspiracy of Venus
Later Event: November 8
Oregonia with Paul McCandless