There are always a few acts at the XRIJF that I’ve never heard of before the festival, but I can’t stop talking about after I’ve seen them. Pianist Matt Herskowitz is now on that list. Before describing him I want to say that I do hope the Steinway in Hatch Hall recovers from the (positive) pounding it took Saturday night. At some points in Herskowitz’ performance you could see it shaking.
The concert had a title, “From Bach To Brubeck,” and along the way Herskowitz visited Chopin, Schubert, and other composers. The premise was the embodiment of Third Stream music: the fusion of jazz with classical music to create, in this case, a wild hybrid.
What made the concert extraordinary was Herskowitz’s beyond-brilliant technique. He was, of course, capable of subtlety, but he was astoundingly adept at impossibly fast and intricate passages. He found them in Bach and Brubeck and also in a “Chopin etude” that he made up, seemingly based on the premise of Chopin as a jazz man. He also played the most wildly rhythmic rendition of Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm” that I’ve ever heard.
At one point, toward the end of the concert, on a tune by the late pianist, Michel Petrucciani, Herskowitz executed a two-handed fluttering chord passage that got faster and faster until it melted into a blur of hummingbird wings. After he lifted his hands, I swear the piano was still shivering with those notes.
City Newspaper, Rochester, NY
April 25, 2014 - Richard Herskowitz Lipsky Trio at L'Astral, Montréal
I've added a little promotional video from Live On Stage on the Videos page, who is representing me for bookings for their 2014-15 season - short and sweet!
My musical theatre production with co-writer/lyricist Theresa Tova, Bella, the Colour of Love, based on the lives of Bella and Marc Chagall, was a huge hit at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia this past October! This was the premier of the full, revamped 2-act version with our new director, the legendary Danny Grossman. We're currently in negotiations to present a 3-week run in Toronto's Harold Greene Theatre this coming fall. I'll post the dates here as soon as they're confirmed!
New review of my performance at the Xerox Rochester Jazz Festival last week - see full review on the Press page
Review of Upstairs in Downbeat magazine's Editor's Picks! You can read the full review on the Press page.
Matt Herskowitz Upstairs has already received numerous glowing reviews from the US! You can read some of them on the Press page (just click on the tab to the left). In the US you can also order this CD online worldwide through Justin Time Records, itunes, amazon and many other online retailers, as well at any record stores that still exist. In Canada it's available online as well at all retail record stores, including HMV, Archambault, Renaud-Bray and Grigorian.