“One of America’s foremost interpreters of standards via the ivories…Never hurried, his ear is subtle and his grasp of arrangement is peerless.”—BBC Music

With the 2014 Jazz in July summer festival, Bill Charlap celebrates his tenth season as artistic director. As a soloist, leader of the Bill Charlap Trio, programmer and jazz advocate, he is one of the top figures in jazz today. 92Y joins dozens of artists and thousands of audience members in celebrating his illustrious and successful tenure.

 

A Welcome from Bill Charlap

Dear Friends,
As we move into our 30th year, and my 10th season as artistic director of Jazz in July, I would like to thank you all for your patronage of this unique and spectacular festival.

To celebrate this milestone, we’ve chosen to focus on some of the most iconic figures of American music. The first week highlights the sweet ruralism of Hoagy Carmichael songs, the urban intensity of Leonard Bernstein, and the cool, swinging sounds of the music of Miles Davis. During the second week, we will showcase three generations of great piano jazz, pay tribute to the legendary Sarah Vaughan, and explore the myriad Hollywood songs written for Fred Astaire.

This year, I’m excited to present several new artists who will be making their festival debuts, such as the dynamic vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, saxophonists Jesse Davis and Ralph Moore, bassist George Mraz, drummer Carl Allen, and the young pianist Christian Sands. Of course, I’m always proud to welcome back many of our returning favorites who have made Jazz in July the treasure that it is.

I welcome you to Kauffman Concert Hall and invite you to immerse yourself in a world of entertainment.

And now, on with the show!

Yours,
Bill Charlap, artistic director

 
Bill Charlap: A biography

With this summer Bill Charlap celebrates his tenth year as artistic director of 92nd Street Y’s Jazz in July summer festival. One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Mr. Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Time magazine wrote, “Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”

In 1997 Mr. Charlap formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. He has received two Grammy Award nominations: for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein, and for The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard, both on the Blue Note label. The Trio performs all over the world; their New York engagements include regular appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and they will return to the Village Vanguard for a two-week run this fall.

Mr. Charlap’s experience as concert producer extends beyond Jazz in July. He has produced concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the JVC Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.

Born in New York City, Mr. Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” Mr. Charlap and Ms. Stewart have appeared at The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and Feinstein’s at the Regency, and on the 92Y Jazz series and the PBS series, “American Songbook at NJPAC.” They have released two CDs: last year’s Something to Remember (Ghostlight) and Love Is Here to Stay (Blue Note).

Mr. Charlap is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes. The two artists often collaborate in a duo piano setting. In 2010, Mr. Charlap and Ms. Rosnes released Double Portrait on the Blue Note label; it was recorded at 92nd Street Y. Mr. Charlap’s website is billcharlap.com, and he has a new Facebook page at facebook.com/Bill-Charlap

 
A Tribute to Bill Charlap, by Ted Rosenthal
Bill Charlap: An Appreciation
By Ted Rosenthal

 

Bill Charlap is celebrating his 10th anniversary as artistic director of Jazz in July. How time flies—it's amazing to think that just “a few” years ago we were both presented at the festival in a concert titled “The Young Guys,” directed by Jazz in July founder and former artistic director Dick Hyman, a mentor and cousin of Bill. Bill has carried on the Jazz in July tradition with artistic excellence, comprehensive musical expertise, and a spirit of warmth and generosity, making all the world-class musicians he invites feel like family. In fact two of his closest collaborators, his mother Sandy Stewart and his wife Renee Rosnes, are regulars at the festival. This is no case of nepotism, but an amazing confluence of extraordinary familial musical talent that also traces back to Bill's father, composer Moose Charlap.

Bill's impeccable music making and sense of community seem to be a running theme throughout the festivals. Speaking of themes, Bill has continued to create concert after concert of engaging thematically based programs, including thoughtful tributes to legendary composers of the Great American Songbook, as well as spirited celebrations of iconic jazz masters. The vast musical territory Bill covers—from the music of Irving Berlin to Chick Corea, along with influences of classical music, Latin music and more—is emblematic of Bill’s encyclopedic knowledge of the entire history of jazz. And Bill just doesn’t know it—he plays it!

With style, elegance, romanticism, energy and fire, Bill brings an engaging musical, poetic and dramatic palette to his playing— as a soloist; in duets with me, Sandy, Renee, Tony Bennett and others; collaborating with his flagship Bill Charlap Trio, and performing in various ensembles with his musical comrades. As Jazz in July regulars also know, jazz legends often grace 92Y’s stage at Bill’s invitation, including Tony and James Moody, to name just a few.

The Jazz in July audience is a very knowledgeable (and sometimes demanding) group, and Bill has taken great care to honor both the tradition of the festival and nudge the creative spirit forward—a dual commitment present in the music of many of our jazz heroes. I have also joined Bill for Jazz in July jazz piano master classes, where he honors the next generation by guiding and inspiring young pianists, some of whom are already becoming the next “Young Guys—and Gals…” In fact, one of our 2009 master class participants is co-headlining one of this summer’s concerts: Christian Sands, in a mini-piano jam with both Bill and Dick Hyman on July 29. (2009 picture at left, Cory Weaver)

With all of the demands on Bill to program, direct and perform in dozens of beautifully conceived and executed Jazz in July concerts, what comes through most is the respect, support, loyalty and love he shows to all of his musical colleagues, many of whom are life-long friends. The members of the Jazz in July family Bill has created always look forward to being together and making music together. Bill, in appreciation for all you do, the Jazz in July family and I wish you many, many more years of continued success.

 
Ten years of programming

The following are all the programs Bill Charlap has presented during each season of his ten-year tenure as Jazz in July artistic director.

2005
Gershwin’s Vision
Continuum
Jazz Legacy: A Portrait of Jim Hall
Hoagy’s Children
The Front Line: Small Group Jazz of Horace Silver & Kenny Dorham
Unforgettable: Nat “King” Cole

2006
Love You Madly: Duke Ellington
Dick Hyman: A Jazz Life
Brilliant Corners: The Music of Thelonious Monk
Bossa Nova: The Brazilian Soul of Antonio Carlos Jobim
12 Hands, 2 Pianos, 1 Night
One For My Baby: The Songs of Harold Arlen

2007
Phil Woods Plays Q and Ollie: The Music of Quincy Jones and Oliver Nelson
Cole Porter: All Through the Night
Bird & Diz: Bebop Today
Moody’s Moods: An Evening with James Moody
Piano Jam
Eddie Palmieri–Brian Lynch: Latin Rhythms

2008
Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein
Piano Jam
The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: 42 Years of Swing
Jazz Samba!
The Shearing Sound: A Tribute to George Shearing
Lush Life: Billy Strayhorn

2009
Sondheim & Styne
A Helluva Town: New York Jazz
Piano Jam: With Respect to Oscar
The Gerry Mulligan Songbook
It’s Jazz, Charlie Brown: The Music of Vince Guaraldi
Saxophone Summit

2010
Hooray for Hollywood: Starring Songs from Classic Hollywood Movies
Picture of Heath: A Tribute to Living Legend Jimmy Heath
Prez & Lady Day: The Legendary Partnership of Lester Young & Billie Holiday
Jazz Piano Master Class
The Song Is You: Jerome Kern, the First Standard-Bearer
Postcard from Brazil
Ballads & Blues: An Evening of Romance and Soul

2011
Jazz Piano Master Class
Swing, Swing, Swing!
The Key Players
Summer Serenade: The Music of Benny Carter
True Blue: The Blue Note Records Legacy
In His Own Sweet Way: Celebrating Dave Brubeck
Always: Irving Berlin

2012
Jazz Piano Master Class
Song & Soul: Ernie Andrews & Freddy Cole
Time Remembered: The Music of Bill Evans
An Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Richard Rodgers
Piano Summit: Dick Hyman & Bill Charlap
Messengers of Jazz: The Legacy of Art Blakey
Basie Roars Again!

2013
Fats Waller: A Handful of Keys
Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin’ on a Star
West Coast Jazz
The Mad Hatter: Music of Chick Corea
Mancini, Mandel & The Movies
Benny Goodman: Let’s Dance!

2014
Hoagy Carmichael: Stardust
Leonard Bernstein’s New York
The Man with the Horn: Music of Miles Davis
Dick Hyman, Bill Charlap, Christian Sands: Three Generations of Piano Jazz
Cécile McLorin Salvant with the Bill Charlap Trio: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan
I Won’t Dance: The Fred Astaire Songbook

 
Ten years of guest artists

Vocals:
Maucha Adnet
Ernie Andrews
Richard Rodney Bennett, vocals/piano
Tony Bennett
Terry Burrell
Barbara Carroll, vocals/piano
Freddy Cole, vocals/piano
Dena DeRose, vocals/piano
Kurt Elling
Ethel Ennis
Dave Frishberg, vocals/piano
Barbara Lea
Vera Mara
Marilyn Maye
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Carol Sloane
Mary Stallings
Sandy Stewart
Sachal Vasandani
Carol Woods
 
Piano:
Kenny Barron
Bruce Barth
Eleonor Bindman
Ray Bryant
Mike LeDonne
Dario Eskenazi
Barry Harris
David Hazeltine
Dick Hyman
Hank Jones
Geoffrey Keezer
Bill Mays
Mulgrew Miller
Eddie Palmieri
Jeb Patton
Eric Reed
Ted Rosenthal
Renee Rosnes
Christian Sands
Derek Smith
Rossano Sportiello
Dr. Billy Taylor
Cedar Walton
Richard Wyands
 
Organ:
Pat Bianchi
 
Clarinet:
Anat Cohen
Ken Peplowski
Paquito D’Rivera
 
C-melody Sax:
Scott Robinson
 
Alto Sax:
Wess Anderson
Jesse Davis
Jerry Dodgion
Jon Gordon
Antonio Hart
Vincent Herring
Dick Oatts
Steve Wilson
Phil Woods
Miguel Zenon
 
Tenor Sax:
Eric Alexander
Harry Allen
Bill Easley
Jimmy Greene
Craig Handy
Jimmy Heath
Joe Lovano
James Moody
Ralph Moore
Houston Person
Chris Potter
Grant Stewart
Jerry Weldon
Frank Wess
 
Baritone Sax:
Mario Rivera
Gary Smulyan
 
French Horn:
Bobby Routch
 
Trumpet/Cornet:
Randy Brecker
Jon Faddis 
Greg Gisbert
Tom Harrell
Jon-Erik Kellso
Brian Lynch
Joe Magnarelli
Wynton Marsalis
Michael Philip Mossman
Nicholas Payton
Jeremy Pelt
Claudio Roditi
Jim Rotondi
Randy Sandke
Terell Stafford
Byron Stripling
Diego Urcola
Warren Vaché
Scott Wendholt
 
Trombone:
John Allred
Chris Brubeck
Steve Davis
Michael Dease
Conrad Herwig
Jim Pugh
 
Violin:
Aaron Weinstein
 
Cello:
Erik Friedlander
 
Bass:
Elias Bailey
Scott Colley
Todd Coolman
Ray Drummond
David Finck
Boris Kozlov
Jay Leonhart
Nilson Matta
George Mraz
Rufus Reid
Harvie S
Sean Smith
Steve LaSpina
Peter Washington
Ben Wolfe
David Wong
 
Guitar:
Sandro Albert
Peter Bernstein
Paul Bollenback
Freddie Bryant
James Chirillo
Jim Hall
Romero Lubambo
Russell Malone
Randy Napoleon
Bucky Pizzarelli
Reg Schwager
Dave Stryker
 
Drums:
Carl Allen
Jeff Ballard
Curtis Boyd
Terry Clarke
Joe Farnsworth
Duduka Da Fonseca
Rodney Green
Tim Horner
Willie Jones III
Joe La Barbera
Eddie Locke
Dennis Mackrel
Lewis Nash 
Dafnis Prieto
Daniel Sadownick
Adriano Santos
Kenny Washington 
 
Percussion:
Cyro Baptista
Pedro Martinez, congas
Mauro Refosco
Little Johnny Rivero, bongos
 
Vibes:
Joe Locke, vibes
Steve Nelson, vibes
 
Tap Dancer:
Randy Skinner
 
Ensembles:
Bill Charlap Trio
Count Basie Orchestra
Freddy Cole Quartet
Manhattan Symphony Jazz Orchestra
Trio da Paz
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
12-piece string ensemble
 


To view a photo gallery retrospective of Bill Charlap's artistic directorship, with images of James Moody, Phil Woods, Tony Bennett and others, visit the 92Y Concerts Facebook page.

The Jazz in July series is partially endowed by Simona and Jerome A. Chazen.