Michael Kanan Trio in the Theater
December 19 @ 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
The mission for The Michael Kanan Trio is clear: swing! Whether playing their own compositions, jazz classics, or a selection from their vast repertoire of standards, the trio plays melodies that sing and rhythms that dance. The group is always engaged in a three-way conversation in which and any of the instruments might suggest a new direction. Pianist Michael Kanan and bassist Neal Miner have been playing together in New York for over 30 years, and for the last 11 years have been in the group of vocal great Jane Monheit. Guitarist Greg Ruggiero completes the trio with his rich, warm sound and lyrical style. The group has a telepathic rapport creates a sound both historic and very much of the moment. They often perform at Mezzrow, the famous Greenwich Village club, where they made two live recordings. The trio also performs at The Django (in the Roxy Hotel), and Birdland. They also performed twice at Weill Hall (the recital room at Carnegie Hall) as part of the Sophia Rosoff Series presented by the Abby Whiteside Foundation.
Michael Kanan hails from Boston, Massachusetts where he first began to play the piano at age 7. He started improvising at the keyboard early on, and by age 10 he was listening to jazz. His first instructor was pianist Harvey Diamond, a student of jazz innovator Lennie Tristano. During his years at Boston College, Michael had the opportunity to perform with several jazz masters including Tal Farlow, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, and Alan Dawson. After graduating college and doing some freelance work around Boston, he moved to New York in 1991 to study with another Tristano student, the pianist Sal Mosca. He established himself in New York, playing and recording with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, and Jorge Rossy, among others. He also developed a growing reputation as a vocal accompanist. In 1996, he joined the band of legendary singer Jimmy Scott, touring the US, Europe, and Japan and recording 4 CDs. In 2001, Michael became the accompanist and arranger for one of today’s most celebrated vocalists, Jane Monheit. With Ms. Monheit’s group, he has toured all over the world and made many recordings and TV appearances. Their professional relationship continues to this day. As a sideman Michael has worked all over New York at venues large and small, including The Blue Note, Birdland, Iridium, Dizzy’s, Smalls, Mezzrow, and many others. For 10 years Michael has had a weekly gig at Arturo’s – another legendary Greenwich Village spot. He has accompanied horn players like Warren Vaché, Ted Brown, Larry McKenna, Joe Magnarelli, and vocalists like Annie Ross, Gabrielle Stravelli, and Lucy Yeghiazaryan.
The Michael Kanan Trio
Monday, December 19 at 8:30pm
Birdland Theater, 315 West 44 Street, NYC
212-581-3080 or BirdlandJazz.com