(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Two of the greatest innovators in contemporary American music – jazz pianist Brad Mehldau and bluegrass mandolinist and vocalist Chris Thile – have joined forces to create an inexplicable fusion of composed and improvised music. The two bring their duo tour, promising an evening of classical transcriptions, pop covers, and original songs, to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 8pm.
Just a year ago last summer, Brad Mehldau held an Ozawa Hall audience enraptured with his elaborations on tunes by Paul McCartney of the Beatles, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones (as interpreted by The Verve), Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. (Read my review of that concert here.) Mehldau is also known for his fondness for covering Radiohead numbers, and he and Thile can be seen and heard on a rendition of the English band’s “Knives Out” here.
Chris Thile is as comfortable playing music by Bach, Thom Yorke and Fiona Apple as he is playing the works of Bill Monroe. In his work with Punch Brothers, he has done for the mandolin what Bela Fleck previously did for the banjo, elevating it from its origins as a relatively simple folk and bluegrass instrument to the sophistication and brilliance of the finest jazz improvisation and classical performance. For more than 15 years, Thile played in the wildly popular band Nickel Creek, with whom he released three albums and sold two million records and was awarded a Grammy. He also collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma on the Goat Rodeo Sessions.
One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano, Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path, which embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism, and pop allure. From critical acclaim as a bandleader and solo artist to major international exposure in collaborations with Pat Metheny, Anne Sofie von Otter, Renee Fleming, and Joshua Redman, Mehldau continues to garner numerous awards and admiration from both jazz purists and music enthusiasts alike.
Tickets are $25 to $47. The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Mass. Box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00pm and three hours before show times. A limited number of $15 tickets are available for patrons ages 30 and younger to all Mahaiwe-produced programs through the Mahaiwe ArtSmart Tix program. For tickets and information, see Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center or call 413.528.0100.