Renowned Jazz Master and 35-year resident of Venice Dick Hyman returns to the VPAC stage at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12.
Hyman will be joined alongside long-time stage partner and clarinetist Ken Peplowski, as well as famous San Francisco singer Clairdee, performing in Playing the Posters: A Jazz Trio. The show will be focused on recreating the history of jazz through its various stages and eras. The three artists have, together and in their separate careers, performed at sights around the country which recall the earliest days of jazz. They have played in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, and have even traveled abroad to Sweden, the U.K., Germany, Israel, and more!
As the musical genre of Jazz has spent the last 120 years developing and evolving in America, Dick Hyman has been actively performing for nearly half of that time. Venice Gondolier Correspondent Grace Gilbert, who interviewed the jazz legend back in 2002, wondered how he got his start.
“What you’re imprinted with at an early age is what you’re stuck with. I was “stuck” with all those good jazz classics: Art Tatum, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and all the great players of the 1920s and 1930s.” — Dick Hyman
Hyman is still writing music today, even after a long and successful career, because jazz keeps cultivating and changing. Hyman has seen, played, and loved many different styles of jazz, and so wanted to express his appreciation for the art form with the community. His talents as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director, electronic musician, and, increasingly, as a composer have resulted in a long career involving film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. One of his most notable works was the soundtrack for the Oscar-winning Woody Allen film “Moonstruck.”
Ken Peplowski is a jazz clarinetist and tenor saxophonist born in Cleveland, Ohio, known primarily for playing swing music. He is sometimes compared to Benny Goodman in tone and virtuosity. Peplowski has recorded approximately 50 albums as a soloist, and close to 400 as a sideman. Some of the artists he’s performed/recorded with include Charlie Byrd, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, and Madonna.
Clairdee, who brands herself as a singer, educator, and arts advocate, has a mission “to engage, uplift and build community through music, creating a narrative that inspires beyond the stage.” Heralded for her inventive artistry and magnetic stage presence, Clairdee’s lustrous voice and expressive delivery hearken back to a time when jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues often blended seamlessly together. Her soulfully alluring vocal style has been featured in concert halls, festivals and nightclubs from Monterey, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Bangkok, Toronto, Paris, Moscow, and St. Petersburg Russia — to New York, New Hampshire, San Francisco and points in between.
“Clairdee is a wonderful, swinging singer with whom I look forward to getting together with again and again,” says Hyman.
Throughout their individual careers, the three have produced a trail of advertising posters for each occasion, dozens of which will be collected on stage for the present concert in order to stimulate the collective recall of three artists whose separate careers each document a vast amount of American music. The three artists literally “play the posters” in recalling and demonstrating their decades-long experiences, running the gamut from Cole Porter’s ‘Begin the Beguine’ and other classic show tunes to Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High,” making for a truly special one-of-a-kind performance from beloved local resident and Jazz Master, and his two incredibly talented stage partners.