May 1, 2020 | 7:00PM
Eubie Blake: Charleston Rag
Thomas "Fats" Waller: African Ripples
Scott Joplin: Solace
Edvard Grieg: Anitra’s Dance
Jules Massenet: Elegie
Willie "The Lion" Smith: Fading Star
George Gershwin: ’S Wonderful
James P. Johnson: Carolina Shout
Stride is one of the most athletic forms of jazz piano from the early 20th Century. With the characteristic leaping left hand (hence the name), and its heavy use of improvisation and syncopation, it was highly competitive. Pianists would often have "cutting contests,” many times at Harlem Rent Parties, where performances occurred in homes to help the tenants and musicians make ends meet.
Aaron Diehl – who, as a pianist equally at home in classical and jazz, is the epitome of a multi-faceted musician – connects that history to our current time with a streaming concert featuring compositions by James P. Johnson, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Willie “the Lion” Smith, and other luminaries from the 1920’s. Though the current global health crisis prevents as from gathering together for live concerts, virtual performances today offer unique ways for communities to support artists and stay connected through music, just as the Harlem Rent Parties supported communities united through the arts.
This performance is sponsored by
Promotional support from WFMT 98.7 FM.