The Joel Zelnik Trio perfoms in a variety of styles. We try to put our musical sincerity along with the love of the Jazz Trio format first and foremost. Our audience is an important ingredient that challenges our connection to them.
I would like to introduce my audience engaging program dedicated to New Jersey’s musical treasure: 7 time Grammy Award Winner Plainfield born Bill Evans. This performance has played to “full houses” because I personalize my experiences with Bill, to the audience.
The Joel Zelnik Trio appeared recently at The Puffin Cultural Forum, Teaneck, NJ, with the program, “My Bill Evans –A Personal Conversation”.
This timely program is based on the dialogues between Joel Zelnik and Bill Evans at the “Village Gate” during the mid-1960’s. Signature Evans works are performed, along with songs he may have considered, and Joel plays pieces he enjoys that show the Evans influence.
Joel had the great fortune of playing at the Top of the Gate in NYC during the mid 60’s, on Monday nights. It was on these Mondays that he split sets with the Bill Evans Trio, and his greatness has stayed with Joel right up to the present. Bill said to Joel,”as a musician, it’s not what you play, but how you play it.” Joel has lived that in his own piano playing no matter what style or circumstance.
Evans is acknowledged to be the most important innovator of Jazz Piano in the late 20th century. Bill conveyed to Joel a great sense of humor, laughing about their mutual experiences in New Jersey, where they grew up. He was, and is, all that represents timeless art.
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‘TONY BENNETT & BILL EVANS – THE LEGENDARY RECORDINGS” is our newest program, and is performed by the Joel Zelnik Trio, or Joel Zelnik –piano, with Grammy nominee vocalist Annette Sanders. Highlighted is the collaboration of Bill Evans & Tony Bennett during 1975 and ‘77, which yielded some of the best recordings in the history of jazz.
Few listeners realized that Tony Bennett was as much of a jazz singer as almost anybody; he had already made a handful of albums in a small jazz combo format, but these were far lesser known than his big chart hits. Then, in 1975, he made what would be his supreme statement in the jazz field, the first of two albums with the remarkable pianist Bill Evans.
They reprise this remarkable collaboration of American Art Song at its finest, by recapturing the virility and expressiveness in these performances. It is a beautiful surprising repertoire – no Gershwin, no Ellington, no blues. They’re mostly songs associated with great female singers: Mabel Mercer and Billie Holiday, as well as Bill Evans’ own “Waltz For Debby” with Gene Lees’ lyrics.
Annette is a Grammy nominee with 5 CDs, has sung with Benny Goodman, Mel Torme, Antonio Carlos Jobim. She was the featured vocalist in Dick Hyman’s Jazz Series at the 92nd St. Y, and also performed in The Billy Taylor Jazz Series at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her distinctive recognizable sound has been heard on thousands of jingles, movie sound tracks, and CD’s.
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