Pianist Eugene Uman will make his Pittsfield,
Massachusetts debut in a special performance at Baba Louie’s Backroom on
Saturday, Aug. 23. Uman, who has recorded and appeared in a wide variety of
settings, from solo to combo to big band, will appear with his quartet at the
popular Pittsfield venue, located at 34 Depot Street in the city’s Upstreet Cultural
A renowned composer and pianist, Uman will perform with a working quartet that he has been involved with for five years. They include saxophonist Bob Stabach, whose compositions were featured in a new CD called "Light Forms," plus George Kaye, double bass, and Jon Fisher, drums. Together they will perform music from the Great American Songbook as well as originals by Uman and Stabach.
Uman has written over 120 jazz compositions that have been arranged for various musical ensembles ranging from big band to world music ensembles to rock. Three of his originals were recorded by Latin Jazz star Sammy Figueroa on his 2005 Grammy-nominated CD “In Walked Sammy.” Uman’s compositions are influenced by the rhythms he learned while living in Colombia, South America. He is also influence by the rock and soul grooves of his youth and his training as a jazz musician. His work can also be heard with a different group called the Convergence Project. In May they released their second CD, "Six Elements."
Stabach's compositions are compelling melodies set over churning and meditative grooves. He has two basic approaches to composition, one uses complex harmonic sequences (chord changes) and the other develops slowly, using static modal harmonies that allow for greater freedom.
In addition to his busy performance schedule, Uman has been director of the Vermont Jazz Center since 1997. During his tenure, the center has grown into an esteemed concert venue where performances by internationally recognized jazz artists are complemented by community outreach and educational programs including a renowned summer jazz workshop that attracts students from around the world.
On the evening of the Baba Louie’s performance, Berkshires Jazz will also announce the lineup for the 10th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which takes place Oct. 10-19, 2014 in various locations within the downtown area. Tickets are priced at $20 in advance (www.BerkshiresJazz.org), and $25 at the door. Seating is limited, dinner will be available separately.
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to present jazz events and encourage jazz education in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The Aug. 23 performance continues the group’s year-round programming, which features the best of regional and national artists.