Marcus Roberts Trio Plays Gershwin with the Symphony
The Santa Barbara Symphony and Jazz at the Lobero Present the Marcus Roberts Trio
For its final concert of the season on May 21 and 22 at The Granada Theatre, the Santa Barbara Symphony will conclude a year of performing great music in innovative configurations with another unexpected twist. What could top a sequence that began with a classic Broadway musical and included concertos for harp, organ, and piano (four hands), plus a new violin concerto based on mariachi? The answer is a well-known piano concerto by George Gershwin revised to feature a jazz piano trio as the soloist.
Marcus Roberts first rose to prominence as the pianist in the Wynton Marsalis group from 1985 to 1991. Since then, Roberts has gone his own way, both as the leader of his trio, which features Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass, and as an increasingly important composer, arranger, and performer of the jazz and now the classical repertoire. With Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, Roberts has created a new form that blends the rigor of an annotated score with the thrill and swing of improvisation. The second half of the program will feature the Symphony No. 1 of Florence Price, an African-American composer active in the period just after Gershwin.
Alongside the innovation onstage, the Santa Barbara Symphony has committed to creating new opportunities and experiences through collaboration. For this visit by the Marcus Roberts Trio, there will be another concert presented by Jazz at the Lobero on Wednesday, May 18, where listeners will have a chance to hear the group stretch out on standards and originals by themselves. This rare combination of performances promises to be a revelation for jazz and classical music fans alike.
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