Get ready for jazz with multinational ingredients as jazz piano legend Geoffrey Keezer takes the stage for a 7:30 pm solo performance on Saturday, October 31, at Fort Worden State Park’s Joseph F. Wheeler Theater!
Tickets are $20 dollars; youth 18 and under can attend for free with advance registration. Tickets are available online here, as well as by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. Tickets are also available at the box-office door beginning at 6:30 pm.
Keezer's latest musical adventure, Áurea, is a multinational Afro-Peruvian jazz recording project featuring some of today’s hottest players from New York City and Lima, Peru.
“What makes Afro-Peruvian music so intriguing to me is the unique combination of cultures found in Peru,” Keezer said. “In Peru, you've got descendants of Amerindians, Spanish, African, even Chinese and Japanese influences. Peru's cultural crossover with Africa predates America's, and many more of the African elements are retained in the music than in jazz.”
Keezer is known as one of the world’s finest jazz pianists. In 1989, at the age of 18, after completing his first year at the Berklee College of Music, he replaced Benny Green as the pianist for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He then replaced Green again as a member of the Ray Brown Trio.
“Geoffrey possesses a refreshingly open-eared sensibility in the modern manner,” noted Time magazine. “He has more than enough virtuosity and sheer musical wit and intelligence to weave all of his apparently disparate strands of influence into an original and compelling whole.”
His interest in Afro-Peruvian music is quite recent, dating back to a big-band performance at a jazz festival in Peru in 2004 and sharing the stage with a group of Peruvian musicians. Previously, he recalled, “I had only heard the music of the Andes, you know, the guys with pan flutes and drums that play on street corners in major cities. But I was totally unaware of Afro-Peruvian music, the music of coastal Peru. "
“The wow factor, in full force at the start of his show, had morphed into an I-can’t-friggin-believe-what-I’m hearing phenomenon,” said All About Jazz’s Jason West after a recent Seattle performance. “By the end of the night, a normally subdued Seattle jazz audience found itself hooting and hollering as if the Seahawks had won the Super Bowl."
Keezer’s professional career has spanned many projects and genres. In 1992, Geoffrey performed Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri.
In addition to his eleven solo releases and constant touring, Geoffrey has also had compositions commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Saint Joseph Ballet, Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the Zeltsman Marimba Festival, and was a recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2007 New Works grant. He has also played bass in a rock band.
Keezer continues to work in partnership with world class musicians from all genres. His 1998 release, Turn Up The Quiet, featured Grammy winning vocalist Diana Krall along with Joshua Redman and Christian McBride. His two releases in 2003, Falling Up and Sublime: Honoring the Music of Hank Jones, were both collaborative efforts. Sublime is an ambitious set of piano duets with Kenny Barron, Chick Corea, Benny Green and Mulgrew Miller. Falling Up features several pieces where Geoffrey worked in tandem with Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Keola Beamer.
His 2005 release, Wildcrafted, captures the fire and raw energy of Keezer’s trio live in concert at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis.
Tickets are $20 dollars; youth 18 and under can attend for free with advance registration. Tickets are available online here, as well as by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. Tickets are also available at the box-office door beginning at 7 pm.