by SJS Staff

Friday, October 21
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
, 8pm
$32 general, $30 members/seniors, $16 students
(Welcomed by KPLU 88.5FM NPR)

This Friday, October 21, 2011, Brad Mehldau returns to Seattle to play a solo set as part of the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival. The 41-year-old performer, arranger, and composer has performed in Seattle many times before — most recently this past April with his trio — but this concert presents a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s preeminent jazz pianists perform alone in a recital setting. The evening of live piano will be held at the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, which is a perfect setting for the event. In this intimate performance hall, Mehldau is sure to astound the audience with his subtly, technical abilities, and artistry. Mehldau often uses solo performances as a testing ground for new compositions, so even the most ardent fan is sure to hear something new.??

Some of Mehldau’s most inspiring performances come from his collaborations with other musicians; however, something special happens in a live solo setting when a musician’s sole focus is on the sounds coming from his own instrument. With Mehldau, improvisations based on old standards, and even recent rock tunes, seem to flow freely from the piano without a single note sounding forced or out of place, as if they are part of the original tune. At the same time, the inherent simplicity of some of the tunes Mehldau chooses to play offers him an extreme amount of freedom to experiment, taking the songs to seemingly unimaginable places. You can hear a bit of this on Mehldau’s first solo album “Elegiac Cycle,” but his live solo album, “Live in Tokyo,” and his latest work, “Live in Marciac,” offer the best chance to get a glimpse of what audiences may be in for this Friday night.

This weekend’s performance will be his penultimate gig before leaving on a two-month tour of Europe. Tickets for this night of solo piano with Brad Mehldau are $32 ($30 for Earshot members and seniors, $16 for students) and are available at the Benaroya Hall box office.

Earshot Jazz Festival