Parkland Press

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Anderson Trio concert salutes Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman

Sunday, October 20, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN Special to The Press in Focus

The Peter & Will Anderson Trio presents “Artie Meets Benny,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the “Jazz Upstairs” series, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The concert will feature contemporary takes on the music of Swing Band era bandleaders Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. There will be discussion of their music and place in history and vintage clips of Shaw and Goodman.

The Andersons will present a separate concert in the Rodale Room for area high school students.

Peter and Will Anderson, virtuoso jazz woodwind players, are identical twins who were raised in the Washington, D.C. area and then headed to the Juilliard School in New York.

As jazz performers, they’ve checked all the boxes.

The Andersons have performed in more than 40 states in the United States, as well as in Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom. They’ve played with such notables as Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Frank Vignola, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks on the Grammy-winning soundtrack of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

They’ve headlined at The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and numerous jazz festivals and venues. The Andersons are teaching artists through Juilliard’s Nord-Anglia program, conducting school workshops in Charlotte, Chicago, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

Will Anderson speaks about the twins’ introduction to music:

“Before we started playing, we were watching a Chips Ahoy commercial on TV. The soundtrack was Benny Goodman playing ‘Sing Sing Sing.’ We both thought, ‘We’ve got to do that.’

“We started on clarinet, both jazz and classical. We played pretty intensely through school. There were a lot of opportunities in the D.C. area and lots of good teachers.

“We were lucky to attend a very good music school [Juilliard] in the jazz capitol of the world. We were just constantly performing on the side. Our transition from school to full-time performing was very seamless.”

Anderson continues, “When we were in D.C., we played in a semi-pro band. We played the music of New Orleans and Chicago: Louie Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton. We studied Sydney Bechet and Johnny Dodds.

“Of course, in New York we did lots of Big Band playing. We also played the Bebop style more prevalent in the jazz clubs of the city.”

Rounding out the trio will be guitarist Adam Moezinia. He is also a Juilliard graduate. He’s played with a number of heavy-hitters, including George Coleman, Jon Faddis, Antonio Hart, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Jane Monheit, Paquito D’Rivera and Bobby Watson.

Moezinia has performed at many festival and jazz venues. He has also taught at “Jazz for Young People” as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Skidmore Jazz Camp in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Says Anderson:

“The trio started about five years ago. It has worked well for us. It give us a lot of flexibility. The communication is very instantaneous. It’s very exciting. We’re all heavily involved in all the aspects: harmony backgrounds and tenor lines besides melody and solos.

“Also, Benny [Goodman] and Artie [Shaw] played a very nuanced style. They had great command of classical as well as jazz techniques.

“A lot of times, the nuance of the music gets lost with a larger electronic ensemble. Amplification doesn’t really go great with the clarinet.”

During their Allentown visit, the Andersons will hold an afternoon music teaching session with local high school students.

Sponsors Frank and MarySue Malvezzi have shown a great interest in supporting multiple forms of jazz education in the Lehigh Valley. For this program, they’ve worked with Norma Nunez-Ruch, director of education for the Allentown Symphony Association, who came up with the specifics for the student program.

Says Nunez-Ruch, “We wanted the high school students to have a very similar experience to the adults who will attend the evening performance. We’re aiming for a relaxed environment where they can enjoy the music, relax, interact and ask questions.

“The student session will run from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in Rodale Community Room. The students will be able to enjoy mocktails and finger food.”

An estimated 150 students from Emmaus, William Allen, Louis E. Dieruff and Northampton high schools and the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts are expected to attend.

Students and adults will hear the Andersons’ take of such standards as “After You’ve Gone,” “Body and Soul,” “Concerto for Clarinet,” “Moonglow,” “Stardust” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 for a free buffet, included with the ticket price. A cash bar is available.Tickets: Miller Symphony Hall box office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; millersymphonyhall.org; 610-432-6715