The last Monday of the month is coming around again, and for us that means we get to present another showcase of great artists at our favorite jazz club in the world. For this event, music theory becomes string theory for the evening, as we have groups which utilize violin, viola, cello and bass. Continue reading for more details on this mini jazz-chamber music festival!
Pianist Ryan Whyman began his classical piano studies at age six, and soon developed an twin affinity for jazz and orchestral movie scores. As a student at California State University, Northridge, Ryan split his time between playing with the talented students in the CSUN Jazz Department and writing volumes of music for his primary focus of study as a Media Composition major. He has an inexhaustible reservoir of ideas, which he pours into his compositions and also spins them off the top of his head spontaneously through his nimble fingers. He has a unique gift for creating what sound like fully-formed solo piano compositions on the spot, and in virtually any style, from Errol Garner to Cecil Taylor to Prokofiev. Here a sampling of his beautiful pianism, which will be on full display on an upcoming solo piano album:
Of course, it’s often more fun to play with others, and Ryan has for the past year been cultivating a small chamber group which he has christened The Whyman Project, a nimble unit of talented string and rhythm players which are able to bring Ryan’s whimsical and lyrcial pieces out of his imagination and into vivid reality:
You can get their debut album, Whymanesque, by clicking here.
The Whyman Project is: Yu-Ting Wu, violin; Shawn Cai; violin; Brandon Encinas, viola; Billy Tobenkin, cello; Rodrigo Moreno, bass; Alex Hahn, saxophone; Michael Enriquez, drums; Ryan Whyman, piano/accordion/composer.
Nora Francesca Germain has had a first-rate music education, making history as the first jazz violinist to come out of both the Idyllwild Arts Academy and the USC Thornton School of Music. Nora also spent time in New York, studying music at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she became friends and collaborators with John Mayer guitarist Zane Carney and pianist Jon Baptiste, who is the heir-apparent to Paul Schaffer’s legacy on the Late Show, just as Steven Colbert is to David Letterman. Nora has made the most of her time in Los Angeles, appearing with Sam Smith on the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and performing with luminaries like saxophonist John Altman, musical wunderkind Jacob Collier and American Idol jazz singer and bassist Casey Abrams.
Nora has a very interesting project coming out, an album of new music (her fourth), Swing Child, which will be accompanied by a book which will document her unique experiences as a young woman forging a career as a traditional jazz violinist and singer among her peers in today’s modernist, digital generation. The release is about a month away and you can check out what she has planned by going to: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/noragermain.
Nora Germain Group is: Nora Germain, violin/vocals; Miles Jensen, guitar; Andy McCauley, bass; Michael Ragonese, piano; Colin McDaniel, drums.
Thanks to Nora and Ryan for participating in this month’s event. Hope to see many of you on Monday.