The pianist's new album features some of the most difficult etudes ever written for solo piano by the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti. "Ligeti took the piano to places it had never been before," he says, "and makes demands of the pianist and the mind that had never been made before."
The jazz icon turns 85 on Dec. 6. He'll celebrate with a concert in London where he will be joined by the London Symphony. There are several recent collections of his work: The Dave Brubeck Collection, which reissues five of his classic out-of-print LPs, and Dave Brubeck: Time Signature: A Career Retrospective.
He's best known for his hit songs "Short People" and "I Love L.A." He's written for a number of films including, Ragtime, Avalon, The Natural, Toy Story, Babe and Seabiscuit. He's received 14 Oscar nominations and won in 2002. Recently he released Volume One of The Randy Newman Songbook.
Through his first band, La Perfecta, labeled "the band with the crazy roaring elephants," Palmieri was credited with originating Latin jazz's trombone sound in New York during the sixties. In 1994, Palmieri's lobbying culminated in the announcement of a new Grammy Award category for Afro-Caribbean Jazz.
An in-studio concert and interview with jazz pianist Jessica Williams, recorded at WHYY. Well hear Williams' original compositions as well as some interpretations of standards. Williams has been recording albums, both solo and with ensembles, since 1978. Her music is often featured on Fresh Air between interview segments. Williams new album is This Side Up, on the Maxjazz piano series.
Singer and pianist Ray Charles. He was born in Albany, Georgia. Charles created a new sound when he merged country, blues, R&B and gospel music. His hits include classics such as I Got a Woman, Unchain My Heart, Georgia on My Mind, and Ruby. He has won 12 Grammy Awards.
Classical pianist and conductor Murray Perahia. Hes been exploring the music of J.S. Bach in his recordings. His latest is Bachs Keyboard Concertos vol. 1 which he recorded and conducted with the St. Martin in the Fields ensemble. He also recorded the Goldberg Variations and Bachs complete English Suites. (All are on Sony Classical). In 1994 Perahia suffered a thumb injury that left him unable to play regularly for a year. He took up his first conducting post as Principal Guest conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. They just completed a 10-city tour.