If Music were an Olympic sport, all of the artists presented at the Newton Piano Summit would be gold medalists. The Summit is a new tradition from the Waban Improvement Society presenting professional world-class artists in an intimate setting – entirely free to the public. Join the Summit Facebook page
to keep alerted to videos and performances.
Performers are selected from an A-list of recognized artists from the New England and New York Area. Their reputations often include decades of experience performing at International Festivals and venues as headliners and/or with other recognized performers, numerous awards and recordings, and availability. Sometimes someone new is highly recommended and we are lucky to catch a rising star! If you would like to help out and donate to the event you can contribute online with the button below or you can contact Chris Pitts anyone with the WIS. Videos of all previous performance are available here.
Wes Wirth and the Global Music Ensemble
Last year this ensemble floored everyone with unexpected mashups of familiar and unfamiliar sounds, rhythms, and melodies. We are excited to have them back this year. “Wewh! That Bass player is great” said Carlos Santana with a smile as he listened to a recent recording of Wes who regularly performs, teaches, and records in the Boston area. Fluent in many styles including jazz, gospel, reggae, calypso, and Afro-pop, his Global music ensemble performs music that is a unique blend of haunting melodies, intricate and pulsating rhythms, vocal effects, loops, and improvisation. All that interpreted by world-class musicians including:
a master drummer, dancer, and Griot, from West Africa. When Joh is not touring North America or Europe, he’s often found working with the Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra and Choir, Upward Bound, Planet Aid, and teaching classes at BU, Brown, and Harvard.
David ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski
on double-neck microtonal guitar, best known as the leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos and as a member of Hasidic New Wave. He has played on more than 95 albums as a session musician, bandleader, or band member.
Perhaps most well known of the Summit performers, Leo Genovese
has been kept busy by bassist and vocalist phenomena Esperanza Spalding
since he joined her group in 2005. Genovese was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, in 1979 and began playing the piano at the age of 5. He studied music and accounting at the University of Rosario, and lucky for us, he abandoned accounting. In 2001 he began studying at the Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2003. His first album, Haiku II
, was released the following year. A reviewer for The New York Times
commented on Genovese’s 2013 album, Seeds
, that, “by refusing to privilege one historical style over another, he strengthens his claim as a polyglot”. Down Beat
observed that Genovese’s compositions for the album “share an exploratory nature, whether the new terrain in question is a marriage of electronic and acoustic sounds, an unlikely use of chromatic scaling or the successful juxtaposition of otherwise disparate ideas.
This program is supported in part by grants from Advance Auto in Nonantum, the Village Bank with a long tradition of commitment to the Garden City, and the Newton Cultural Council
, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.