In 2001 the 20th Century's master jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck, and the younger generation's jazz piano leader, David Benoit, presented a young teenage jazz piano phenom to their audience in a concert called "Three Generations of Jazz Piano." That young star-in-the-making was longtime PSO favorite, Menlo Park's own Taylor Eigsti. Here they are, taking their final bow:
Now, for the first time since that epochal concert, the Brubeck legend (now represented by Dave's remarkable sons Chris and Dan), Benoit, and Eigsti, will perform together with the Peninsula Symphony in a program called Reunion! on January 25 and 26. It's the culmination of years of planning and much anticipation. Benoit and Eigsti will play two-piano versions of their classics with Chris playing bass and trombone, and Dan on drums, all combined with the full symphonic forces of the Peninsula Symphony.
These three jazz personalities share more than just history. All three performer-composers have built their music on a foundation of symphonic sound, and all three have composed symphonic scores throughout their careers. So the Peninsula Symphony stage, with all of the sound colors of our full symphony orchestra at their disposal, is the perfect setting for this long-overdue Reunion! All three have long-time Bay Area connections and Dave Brubeck was born in Concord, California, while David Benoit is from Los Angeles.
The program itself is a tour and tour-de-force through many landmarks of these three jazz threads. Dave Brubeck's standards Take Five, Blue Rondo a la Turk, Koto Song, In Your Own Sweet Way and Cassandra are the foundation. Add to that Chris Brubeck's stunning Concerto for Bass Trombone, and Taylor Eigsti's symphonic tableau of Ellington's Caravan, plus David Benoit's orchestration of Chick Corea's Spain. Benoit is represented by some of his most popular favorites: Napa Crossroads, Kathy's Waltz (in a brand-new arrangement by David Benoit), and Every Step of the Way.
The program begins with perhaps the greatest symphonic-jazz synthesis, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess Symphonic Picture. It's a program encompassing nearly a century of symphonic jazz, and bringing together some of the brightest lights of the piano-jazz world. All of us are anticipating a truly memorable collaboration, and sharing it with our audience.
Mitchell Sardou Klein