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Lara Downes

Lara Downes has garnered wide acclaim as one of the most exciting and communicative pianists of today's generation, lauded by NPR as "a delightful artist with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship" and praised by the Washington Post for her stunning performances "rendered with drama and nuance". Lara’s innovative explorations of the piano repertoire - from iconic favorites to newly commissioned works - bridge musical genres, traditions and audiences. Born in San Francisco of Caribbean and Russian heritage, Downes began piano lessons at age 4, and later spent a decade studying and performing with her sisters in Europe, in what she calls a “gypsy-like existence” that took the family from Paris to Venice, Vienna, Basel and Rome. Since making early debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Salle Gaveau Paris, Lara has appeared on the world’s greatest concert stages, winning over audiences at diverse venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Le Poisson Rouge, the Kennedy Center to Classical Revolution. Downes’ solo recordings have met with tremendous critical and popular acclaim

ARTICLE: RADIO

Moon's Up, Night's Up - Taking the Town By Surprise

Read "Moon's Up, Night's Up - Taking the Town By Surprise" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The annual celebratory broadcast for Joni Mitchell included an assortment of her songs by various jazz artists, plus new releases from Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Norah Jones, saxophonist T.K. Blue, singer/poet Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein), and vibraphone artist Lolly Allen; also more birthday shout outs to Chris Conner, Betty Bryant (going strong at ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Birthday Celebrations for Shirley Horn and Judy Collins

Read "Birthday Celebrations for Shirley Horn and Judy Collins" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This broadcast celebrates songs about birds in the second hour plus birthday songbirds Judy Collins (who just turned 80) and the legendary Shirley Horn. New releases included vocalists Kalya Ramu, Holly Cole, Laurie Antonioli, Charles Ruggiero & Hilary Gardner, bassist Anne Mette Iversen, pianists Amina Figarova and Eric Reed, with more birthday shout outs to Bing ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie

Read "Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Winding up Jazz Appreciation Month with special birthday shout outs to the Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey, pianist Dorothy Donegan, vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand and Blossom Dearie, among others, with new concept recordings from Nancy Kelly (a tribute to Mark Murphy) , Christina Morrison (duets with five other women vocalists) and Ellynne Rey (a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

I'll Remember April - Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!

Read "I'll Remember April - Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

A smooth segue from Women's History into Jazz Appreciation Month, commencing with a celebration of Gene Bertoncini, Freddie Hubbard and John Pizzarelli's birthdays in the first hour and concluding with a celebration of Billie Holiday in the final hour, plus new releases from Ashley Pezzotti, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Alicia Olatuja and Claire Martin & Jim Mullen ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Twilight World - Celebrating Marian McPartland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Joni 75

Read "Twilight World - Celebrating Marian McPartland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Joni 75" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The penultimate week of Women's History Month broadcast includes new releases from guitarist Mimi Fox, trombonists Naomi Moon Siegel and Natalie Cressman, pianist Lara Downes, the group Five Play led by drummer Sherrie Maricle and vocalists Sivan Arbel and Patrice Jegou, as well as a first listen to the live recording of Joni Mitchell''s 75th year ...

But Beautiful: My Life with Billie Holiday

Read "But Beautiful: My Life with Billie Holiday" reviewed by Lara Downes

Every Saturday morning, when I was a little girl, my sisters and I went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for what we called “Saturday Classes": piano lessons, theory, music history--serious classical music training for serious little musicians. Saturday afternoons, when we got home, we had a ritual. We'd get out our “dress-up" from the ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Critically-Acclaimed Classical Pianist And Steinway & Sons Recording Artist Lara Downes Provides A Different Take On The Music Of Billie Holiday

Critically-Acclaimed Classical Pianist And Steinway & Sons Recording Artist Lara Downes Provides A Different Take On The Music Of Billie Holiday

When classical pianist Lara Downes was 8 years old, she wrote in her diary that her favorite song was Billie Holiday’s “I Cover the Waterfront." Ever since, says Downes, she has been enthralled with “the distinctive qualities of mood and phrasing, line and color” heard in Holiday’s singing. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of ...

Some Other Time

Label: Steinway & Sons
Released: 2014


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