1
Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
2
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews

Four Pianos Festival at JACK

Four pianos. One room. New York's best improvising pianists, playing with one another.

The Latest Update

Final Project Update

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Jack Arts, Inc.
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

From Dec. 17 – 19, 2015, JACK hosted our first-ever Four Pianos Festival, with help from Yamaha Artist Services and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).  Curated by pianist Ron Stabinsky (Mostly Other People Do the Killing), the festival included pianists Cory SmytheCraig Taborn (members of ICE), Sylvie Courvoisier, Brian Marsella, Elias Steneseder and Stabinsky himself.

Thursday and Saturday’s performances featured a duo set followed by a quartet — pianists improvising together on separate pianos — and Friday’s performance featured Taborn and Smythe playing two pianos each (with one of the pianos tuned down a quarter-step).  

Without help from New Music USA, this idea would never have gotten off the ground.  We were able to pay each pianist a solid fee for their performance, as well as a curatorial fee for Ron Stabinsky. 

 

 

 

More Updates ▼

Dates set for Four Pianos Festival – Dec. 17 – 19

Posted on November 28, 2015 by Jack Arts, Inc.

JACK’s first-ever Four Pianos Festival offer a rare opportunity for musicians and audiences to be a part of a three-day piano overload, with concerts featuring the city’s great improvising pianists playing simultaneously on four pianos. Curated by pianist Ron Stabinsky (Mostly Other People Do the Killing), the festival will include pianists Cory SmytheCraig Taborn, members of ICE, Sylvie Courvoisier, Brian Marsella and Stabinskyhimself, with other participants in the works.

TICKETS: $20
 
Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8 pm:
First set: Ron Stabinsky and Brian Marsella
Second set: Ron Stabinsky, Brian Marsella, Cory Smythe and a pianist yet to be named
 
Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 pm:
Craig Taborn and Cory Smythe present works for two pianos in a new collaboration commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).
 
Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8 pm
First set: Ron Stabinsky and Sylvie Courvoisier
Second set: Ron Stabinsky, Sylvie Courvoisier, Cory Smythe and Craig Taborn.
 
Pianos generously provided by Yamaha Artist Services.
 
PIANIST INFO 

Ron Stabinsky has performed on a regular basis with Peter Evans, Jack Wright and Mostly Other People Do the Killing. His mentors in the art of improvisation include Bill Dixon in Vermont and Joel Futterman in Virginia.
 
Cory Smythe has enjoyed a recital partnership with violinist Hilary Hahn, while also collaborating on the recording of In 27 Pieces, an album of Hahn’s diverse collection of commissioned encores, for which they won a 2015 Grammy Award.  He is a core member of the new music group International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).
 
Craig Marvin Taborn began his career when he was in his teens, touring and recording with saxophonist James Carter. In 2011, Down Beat chose Taborn as winner of the electric keyboard category, as well as rising star in both the piano and organ categories.  Taborn has released five albums under his own name.
 
Sylvie Courvoisier has performed and recorded with John Zorn, Mark Feldman, Yusef Lateef, Ikue Mori, Erik Friedlander, and Herb Robertson among others. Awards include Switzerland’s 1996 Prix des jeunes créateurs, Zonta Club’s 2000 Prix de la Création, and Switzerland’s 2010 Grand Prix de la Fondation Vaudoise de la Culture.
 
Brian Marsella has been a member of Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista’s internationally acclaimed band, Beat the Donkey, since 2004. Brian is also a founding member of the band Caveman.
 
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by The New Yorker as “the new gold standard for new music,” is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 35 leading instrumentalists, performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE. www.iceorg.org

Change in dates

Posted on April 1, 2014 by Jack Arts, Inc.

We are thrilled to present the Four Pianos Festival at JACK.  In order to coincide with our theater production of “Three Pianos,” which has had to be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, we will hold the festival in fall 2015.  We will update this page when dates have been announced.

Overview

In March 2014, JACK will present the Four Pianos Festival, in which multiple pianists, over the course of three evenings, will improvise simultaneously on four pianos we will have in our space at that time. Pianist Ron Stabinsky is the centerpiece of the festival, and he has recruited fellow improvisatory pianists Cory Smythe, Craig Taborn, Sylvie Courvoisier and Brian Marsella to take part, with other participants in the works. Each evening will feature two to four pianists, and the four upright pianos will be at their disposal however they see fit. Some early ideas – besides one performer on each piano – are to allow the pianists to “prepare” one or more of the pianos, or arranging multiple pianos around one performer. Our aim is to give these stellar musicians a chance to play with one another — an opportunity so rarely afforded because most venues only have one piano — and to give audiences a fresh listening experience.

The festival became a possibility because, during that month, we will be presenting the OBIE-winning play, Three Pianos, an exploration of Schubert’s “Winterreise” song-cycle by three composer/theater makers, Rick Burkhardt, Dave Malloy and Alec Duffy. The play requires three upright pianos, which will join our own house spinet in the space for two weeks. We were stimulated by the chance to draw a parallel between Schubert’s circle of poor artist friends and the modern day counterpoint of Stabinsky and friends as a community of exceptional artists learning from one another and being tremendously creative in spite of limited financial support. We are applying for this grant to pay each artist at least $300 for an evening’s performance (with the help of additional fundraising) – certainly not a huge amount, but at least a start.

Participating pianists:

Ron Stabinsky’s mentors in the art of improvisation include Bill Dixon in Vermont and Joel Futterman in Virginia. He has performed on a regular basis with Peter Evans, Jack Wright and Mostly Other People Do the Killing.

Cory Smythe has enjoyed a recital partnership with violinist Hilary Hahn, while also collaborating on the recording of In 27 Pieces, an album of Hahn’s diverse collection of commissioned encores. He is a core member of the new music group the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Craig Marvin Taborn began his career when he was in his teens, touring and recording with saxophonist James Carter. In 2011, Down Beat chose Taborn as winner of the electric keyboard category, as well as rising star in both the piano and organ categories.  Taborn has released five albums under his own name.

Sylvie Courvoisier has performed and recorded with John Zorn, Mark Feldman, Yusef Lateef, Ikue Mori, Erik Friedlander, and Herb Robertson among others. Awards include Switzerland’s 1996 Prix des jeunes créateurs, Zonta Club’s 2000 Prix de la Création, and Switzerland’s 2010 Grand Prix de la Fondation Vaudoise de la Culture.

Brian Marsella has been a member of Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista’s internationally acclaimed band, Beat the Donkey, since 2004. Brian is also a founding member of the band Caveman.

Project Media

Craig Taborn live in Amsterdam, 2010
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Craig Taborn playing “Untitled II/American Landscape” at VPROJazzLive in the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, June 3, 2010.

Sylvie Courvoisier Solo – Schaffhauser Jazzfestival 2013
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Performance in Switzerland.

Ron Stabinsky Solo Piano Improvisation

I'm sorry, this media seems to be unavailable.

Features: Ron Stabinsky

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA, May 15, 2011.

Start and End Dates

03/17/201403/19/2014

Location

Brooklyn, New York

3 updates
Last update on January 14, 2016

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Named one of the top music venues in 2015 by New York City Jazz Record, JACK is an OBIE-winning performance venue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn founded in 2012.  Our mission is to serve as a cultural hub in the area, presenting cutting-edge music, theater and dance performances, expanding access to the arts, bridging audiences and…

In Collaboration With

Curator/performer

Comments

Leave a Reply