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Vermont Jazz Center Presents: Renee Rosnes Quartet

April 16th, 2016
Renee Rosnes Quartet

Press Release
Writer’s credit, Eugene Uman
For immediate release, April 6th, 2016
Contact Eugene Uman, Vermont Jazz Center, 802 254 9088,

Short Summary
Who: Renee Rosnes (piano), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Peter Washington (bass) and Lewis Nash (percussion and drums)
What: Jazz Standards from the Great American Songbook, plus originals
When: Saturday, April 16th at 8:00 PM
Where: The Vermont Jazz Center, 72 Cotton Mill Hill, #222, Brattleboro, VT 05301
Tickets available: online at, by email at, by phone 802 254 9088, in person at In The Moment, Main St., Brattleboro, VT.

Acclaimed Jazz Pianist, Renee Rosnes to perform with her Quartet at the Vermont Jazz Center, Saturday, April 16th at 8:00 PM

Pianist Renee Rosnes will perform at the Vermont Jazz Center on April 16th at 8:00 PM with her world-class quartet including vibraphonist Steve Nelson, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash. Cited as “one of the finest pianists in jazz,” Rosnes has recorded and toured with a veritable who’s who of jazz including legends Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, J.J. Johnson, James Moody, Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson.

Rosnes demonstrates brilliance in her approach to jazz standards and has dedicated albums to playing these classic songs (her recording A Time For Love is a good example), but it is her esteemed work as a composer whose focused ability to choose a complex concept and express it through music that further elevates her reputation. In a review of her most recent recording, Written in the Rocks, Downbeat magazine claims “Rosnes is a virtuoso jazz composer…advanced yet accessible, complex but never ostentatious, this is as good as writing can get in this setting.”

Renee Rosnes uses her albums as opportunities to explore a unified topic such as the natural history of the world (Written in the Rocks). Her albums aren’t merely collections of tunes, they are palpable examples of what she is investigating at the time. Her foray into world music, Life on Earth, is supported by her vast knowledge of both music and culture – in the liner notes she states that the “realization of this recording manifested a desire to create a journey of inspiration and depth.” It includes original music directly influenced by the sounds Rosnes studied from India, Senegal, Andalusia, Bali as well as compositions that reflect her impressions of 9/11 and the ice, oceans and winds of her native Canada. Rosnes has produced a full album honoring the music of Bill Evans, worked directly with a string arranger to create an album fusing a string orchestra with a jazz trio, appeared as guest pianist, composer, and arranger with the famed Danish Radio Big Band, and has dedicated albums to both her own fascinating personal cultural history (Ancestors) and to that of her musical legacy (Black Narcissus, a tribute to Joe Henderson).

As demonstrated by the talent she will bring to the Vermont Jazz Center, Rosnes surrounds herself with musicians of the highest level. She thinks big when inviting guests to perfectly complement and enhance the results of her projects. Guest musicians who have performed on Rosnes’ album include Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, John Patitucci, Chris Potter, Zakir Hussain, Christian McBride, Jack DeJohnette, Dianne Reeves, Ron Carter, Steve Wilson, Don Alias and many others. To date Rosnes has released a series of 14 albums, four of which have garnered Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. In 2003 she earned SOCAN’s (Society of Canadian Composers) Composer of the Year award.

Aside from leading her own bands and organizing her own projects, Rosnes is currently a member of bassist Ron Carter’s Quartet and often performs with her husband—another wonderful pianist, Bill Charlap. A review from the Boston Globe sums up her place in the spectrum quite clearly: “Rosnes has carved out for herself a reputation as one of jazz’s new bright lights. She has impressed veterans of the bebop and free jazz wars with a crisp, uncluttered approach to improvisation that respects, but doesn’t genuflect to the music of the past.”

The quartet that Renee Rosnes will bring to the Jazz Center is her working band with whom she has recorded numerous albums. They have an obvious and easy chemistry and are able to help her achieve her vision of creating unique timbres and at swinging hard. It is quite unusual for a pianist to choose a vibraphonist as another lead voice in their ensemble, but years of working with maestro Bobby Hutcherson has granted Rosnes the ability to crystalize the potential of this combination. Her vibraphonist is Steve Nelson who is perhaps best known for his work with bassist Dave Holland. Nelson has appeared on nine albums with Holland including two Grammy Award winning recordings. He has seven recordings out under his own name. Other band leaders with whom he has recorded include Chris Potter, Houston Person, Karrin Allyson, Kenny Barron, Bruce Barth, David “Fathead” Newman, Steve Davis, Louis Hayes, James Williams, Donald Brown, Mulgrew Miller, Antonio Hart, Chick Corea, Barbara Dennerlein, Kenny Drew, Russel Malone, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Jackie McLean, Johnny Griffin, Bobby Watson.

The bassist of the quartet is Peter Washington who cut his teeth with Art Blakey at the age of 22; he recorded three albums with Blakey’s Jazz Messengers but has his clean tone and swinging articulation has left its mark on the recordings of hundreds of others. Some of the artists with whom he has recorded and/or toured with include: Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, Mark Elf, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Steve Turre, Benny Greene, Robin Eubanks, Benny Golson, Brian Lynch, Walter Bishop, Jr., Lewis Nash, Donald Byrd, Tom Harrell, Bobby Hutcherson, Geoff Keezer, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabackin, Johnny Griffin, Tommy Flanagan, David “Fathead” Newman, Freddie Hubbard, Marcus Belgrave, Brian Lynch, George Cables, Renee Rosnes, Mulgrew Miller, Houston Person, Eric Alexander, Clark Terry, Houston Person, Phil Woods, James Williams, Steve Nelson, Karrin Allyson, Ray Charles, Anat Cohen and many others. He was a member of the “Blue Note 7,” a septet formed to honor Blue Note Records.

At the age of 21 the drummer of Rosnes’ group, Lewis Nash, was a first call musician in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona where he played or recorded with Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Lee Konitz, Barney Kessell and Slide Hampton. In 1981, he moved to New York and joined the trio of jazz vocalist Betty Carter. For four years he toured internationally with Ms. Carter and is featured on three of her recordings including the Grammy-award winning Look What I Got. Nash has performed or recorded with Ron Carter, Branford Marsalis, J.J. Johnson, the Don Pullen/George Adams Quartet, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Clark Terry and Milt Jackson. He was a member of the Tommy Flanagan Trio, and is featured on seven CD recordings with the piano master, including the Grammy­nominated, Sea Changes. He has also recorded with Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter, Diana Krall, Russell Malone and Regina Carter. He has one recording out under his own name called Rhythm is My Business.

Vermont Jazz Center is honored to present this stellar quartet on Saturday, April 16th at 8:00 PM. They represent the very top level of jazz musicians playing at clubs and festivals throughout the world. Come be captivated by their musicality, creativity, dynamics and groove.

The VJC is especially grateful for sponsorship of this event by Diana Bingham whose contribution has made this concert possible. The VJC is also grateful for the ongoing support from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hospitality for our artists is provided by the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro. VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW, WFCR and Chris Lenois of WKVT’s Green Mountain Mornings.
Tickets for the Renee Rosnes concert held on April 16th at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at, by email at Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.
Contact: Eugene Uman –

With quartet she will be performing with:

Renee Rosnes Trio (w/ same rhythm section as April 16th concert)

Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap: