KDFC Salon Series
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 6:30pm
Education Studio at the
War Memorial Veterans BuildingVenue Information
The Salon Series is sponsored by KDFC, San Francisco Classical Radio
South American music including works by SIMÓN DÍAZ and
EDWARD SIMON: Venezuelan Suite
About This Performance
Two Venezuelan virtuosos perform a blend of South American music including favorites by the iconic Venezuelan singer/songwriter Simón Díaz as well as Edward Simon’s own Venezuelan Suite from his acclaimed album of the same name. All About Jazz marveled, “Venezuelan Suite is pianist Edward Simon’s love letter to his homeland, but that’s not all it is; it’s also the perfect confluence of Venezuelan ideals, jazz language and chamber-esque sophistication. In short, it’s a masterpiece.”
Edward Simon, a native of Venezuela, has made a name for himself over decades in America as a jazz improviser, composer-arranger, band leader and educator. DownBeat has called him “one of the strongest pianists of his generation, with intuitive empathy and drum-like ingenuity,” while Jazz Journal International has singled out “his deep emotional statements” as a composer and improviser. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area as a member of the all-star SFJAZZ Collective, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow along with being awarded multiple composition grants as part of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works initiative. Simon, a Yamaha artist, has recorded 15 albums as a leader or co-leader. His latest is Sorrows and Triumphs, released via Sunnyside Records in April 2018; the album was declared “unmissable” in Nate Chinen’s Take Five column on WBGO.org, and the pianist was featured in an extensive DownBeat interview upon the disc’s release. This follows Simon’s 2016 album Latin American Songbook, which won him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album; a four-and-a-half-star DownBeat review also praised his fresh vision of classic Latin American songs as “grand and sophisticated.”
Another key release for Simon was his 2014 Sunnyside album Venezuelan Suite, which saw the pianist blend the tuneful, buoyant sounds of his native country with the harmonically sophisticated, forward-looking manner of jazz. All About Jazz marveled: “Venezuelan Suite… is the perfect confluence of Venezuelan ideals, jazz language and chamber-esque sophistication. In short, it’s a masterpiece.” One of Simon’s most recent collaborative projects is the trio Steel House, with the pianist joined by bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade for a group that blends acoustic jazz improvisation with electronic-tinged atmospherics for an inviting, song-oriented sound. This virtuoso trio has performed at top venues across the country, with L.A. Weekly saying: “All-star bands can be a hit-and-miss prospect, but Steel House exceeds expectations…These extraordinary instrumentalists convert their shared histories into poetic, genre-leaping music.” The group presented its debut album, Steel House, via ArtistShare in 2017. Simon is on the faculty of the Roots, Jazz & American Music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and he has also served on the faculties of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, City College of New York and University of the Arts.
Marco Granados epitomizes the 21st century musician, having maintained a versatile career as an innovative chamber and orchestral musician, an international concerto and recital soloist, and a lead teaching artist and educator. He is one of the world’s leading flutists on Latin American music, and his diverse repertoire spans from folk to classical music.
Since his New York City debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 1991, Mr. Granados has gone on to perform in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium for Sonidos Latinos, a celebratory festival of Latin American music. He has performed the Jacques Ibert Flute Concerto and the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp with the New York City Symphony at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, and has been a featured soloist at Wigmore Hall in London. Mr. Granados has performed with many of the leading symphony orchestras in Venezuela, his native country, premiering both the Jacques Ibert and Aram Khachaturian flute concerti with the Maracaibo and Venezuelan Symphony Orchestras. In Peru, he gave the South American premiere of the Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by Mexican composer Samuel Zyman with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Lima. As an international soloist, his performances have taken him all over the world, including South Africa, Slovenia, Scotland, Japan, and China to name a few.
In the United States, Mr. Granados has frequently been a featured artist at the National Flute Convention, flute associations, and multiple artist series. Highlights of his 2016 and 2017 season include solo recitals at the New Jersey Flute Society, the Colorado Flute Association, the Arizona Flute Society, and the Utah Flute Association. Other solo recitals this season include performances at the Wilson Center in Milwaukee, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Suzuki Association of the Americas Biannual Conference, Four Seasons Arts in Oakland, and the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.
Mr. Granados has served as principal flute with The New York City Symphony Orchestra, Opera Northeast, and L’Orchestra in the Berkshires, and as associate principal flute with the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra. In New York City, he performed with the Mostly Mozart Festival, and on Broadway for the musicals Miss Saigon, Annie, Showboat, and The Sound of Music.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Granados has performed at The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and with such distinguished artists as clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, flutist William Bennett, flutist Ransom Wilson, harpist Nancy Allen, and oboist Heinz Holliger. He is a founding member of the chamber ensemble Classical Jam and has been a member of many critically acclaimed ensembles, among which are Triangulo, a Latin American Chamber Trio, and Quintet of the Americas. While with Quintet of the Americas, he performed at Carnegie Hall, The Bermuda International Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.
On radio broadcasts, Mr. Granados has been featured nationwide as both a host and performer on NPR’s Performance Today. With host Fred Child, he was the featured artist for the program Around New York on WNYC. Other radio appearances include live performances on WQXR in New York City with Classical Jam. Mr. Granados can be heard on such recording labels as CRI, Chesky Records, MMC Records, Koch World, XLNT Records and Soundbrush Records. His solo recording are: Music of Venezuela, virtuoso flute music by living Venezuelan composers; Luna, a romantic serenade of songs from Venezuela and South America for flute and guitar; Tango Dreams, a compilation of works by Astor Piazzolla; and Amanecer, a collection of Venezuelan flute favorites.
A devoted educator, Mr. Granados is a professional teaching artist, having hosted, presented and developed programs for Lincoln Center Education, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The New York Philharmonic, and Carnegie Hall to name a few. Mr. Granados has been on faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston. Most recently, he is the founder of The Granados Music Institute, a training program to educate young professional flutists in 21st century skills.