All About the Trio
- $25 Assigned Rows 1-2
- $15 Assigned Rows 3-5
- $10 General Admission
- $5 Student
- Ellen Rowe, piano
- Paul Keller, bass
- Pete Siers, drums
An education in the fundamentals of jazz...and a lot of fun!
This performance is made possible through the generous support of the Don Chisholm Friends of Jazz at the Kerrytown Concert House.
Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Professor and Chair of the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Department at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins. Prior to her appointment in Michigan, she served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut.
Winner of the Hartford, CT Advocate Readers’ Poll for Best Acoustic Jazz, Ms. Rowe has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the U.S., as well as touring in South Africa, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland and Australia. Also active as a clinician, she has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory, Hochshule fur Musik in Cologne and The Royal Academy of Music in London. She has also made many appearances as a guest artist at festivals and Universities around the country.
When not leading her own quartet, she is in demand as a sideman, having performed with artists including Kenny Wheeler, Tim Ries, Tom Harrell, John Clayton, Frank Morgan, Ingrid Jensen and Steve Turre. She was also a guest on two installments of Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio. Her three CDs as a leader, “Sylvan Way” (2000), “Denali Pass” (2005) and “Wishing Well” (2010) have received extensive airplay and critical acclaim. Jazz critic Ken Franckling describes “Wishing Well”, featuring Ingrid Jensen, as a “gem in every respect, revealing much to savor on every track” and All About Jazz’s Bruce Lindsay says “The Ellen Rowe Quartet deserves wider recognition, with the beautifully realized Wishing Well a rich and engaging testament to this band's talent.”
Ms. Rowe's compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz ensembles and orchestras around the world, including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, London Symphony, DIVA and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Many of these works can be heard on recently released CD’s including “Leave It To Diva”, “The Perth Jazz Orchestra”, “Bingo” (The Bird of Paradise Orchestra) and “I Believe In You” (DIVA). She has recently been a composer-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music , University of Wisconsin at Madison and Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway. Her big band compositions are currently published by Sierra Music Publications.
Having been selected to conduct the MENC All-Eastern and All-Northwest Jazz Ensembles as well as All-State jazz ensembles throughout the country, she has also been an invited clinician at the Music Educators National Conference Eastern Division Convention and the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention. Her quartet was featured in performance at the 2005 IAJE Conference in Long Beach, California, the 2009 Detroit International Jazz Festival and the 2011 Jazz Education Network Conference. A new duo album with Andrew Bishop, “Chisel and Stone” and a new quintet CD “Courage Music” were released in early 2014.
Paul Keller is one of the busiest bassists in the Detroit area today, earning the nickname “The House Bass Player For The State Of Michigan.” Since 1989, Paul has led the 15-piece Paul Keller Orchestra, which plays original, obscure and classic big band material from all periods of jazz history, and performs every Monday night at the Zal Gaz Grotto in Ann Arbor. Paul also plays in the popular Keller/Kocher Quartet and in The Paul Keller Ensemble, a three-horn sextet that features creative arrangements by Keller and his bandmates. Paul has been recognized internationally for his association with pianist/singer Diana Krall and guitarist Russell Malone.
Like Clark Kent, jazz percussionist Pete Siers is soft-spoken and unassuming–but put him behind a drum set, and a hard-swinging, intensely physical, dynamically sensitive drummer emerges. When Pete plays, “straight-ahead, readily apparent musical joy” can be expected, according to the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association. And Paul Pearce of Bass World magazine writes that “Pete absolutely ‘sings’ with his drum kit.”
A consummate professional, Pete has an international reputation for his “restless curiosity, attention to detail, and mastery of many different styles,” according to Mike Stratton, host of the FM 89.7 radio show, “The Vinyl Side of Midnight.” Siers has played with jazz luminaries such as Russell Malone, Mulgrew Miller, Marian McPartland, Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, James Moody, Kenny Werner, David “Fathead” Newman, Eddie Daniels, Frank Morgan, Scott Hamilton, Bob Wilber, and Barry Harris. In addition to his expansive performance career, Siers has played on over 50 recordings, including Russell Malone’s Black Butterfly on Columbia Records. He recently played Carnegie Hall, has toured Europe several times, and is a long-time favorite at many jazz parties and festivals across the U.S. Pete continues to perform orchestral pops shows such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave’s Louis Armstrong Tribute and Dave Bennett’s Salute to Benny Goodman.
In addition to his performance and recording career, Pete has taught percussion and jazz drumming for over 25 years. He teaches privately as well as having taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts, Emory University, Purdue University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He was also an artist-in-residence at Interlochen School of the Arts.
Despite being a veteran teacher, Pete recognizes the impact of other musicians on his style such as New York pianist and educator Kenny Warner with his concept of “effortless mastery,” Jeff Hamilton’s dynamic showmanship, New York drummer Bill Stewart’s flawless execution and coordination, and Elvin Jones’ primitive, organic drive. But one of Pete’s greatest lessons was from Detroit saxophonist Larry Nozero back in the ’80s when Nozero told him before their show, “Rehearsals are over–it’s time to play.” “This hit my like a shot,” says Pete. “From this, I began to understand what it is to play music at the highest level. When I play, I want to go up there and disappear, to be the sound.” Siers is an authentic risk-taker who serves the music and surrenders to what it calls for.
Siers’ aspirations are as numerous as his accomplishments. The ultimate goal for his Latin quintet, Los Gatos, is to experience first-hand the roots of Afro-Cuban rhythm in its place of origin, Cuba, and to study with the masters. The Pete Siers Quartet, including two tenor saxophones and organ, will release a new CD in 2009. The repertoire is post-bop and high-energy, straight ahead jazz. Pete also has his eyes on a trio project with piano and tenor saxophone. The arrangements are unique yet reminiscent of the Gene Krupa Trio from the early 1950s. This year, Pete will also continue his piano trio settings with the release of Organic Roots.
Says Siers, “Staying inspired is important, whether it’s practicing, teaching, playing, or just being a husband and father. I feel very lucky to be around positive energy.” Pete resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife, Stephanie Hale, and their two children, Charlie and Neva.