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Cliff Korman Ensemble: Tribute to Paulo Moura

Americas Society

September 23, 2013


Image courtesy of the artist.

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Admission Fee: FREE for Americas Society members and YPA members (must register in advance); $20 for non-members. 

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Currently based in Brazil, pianist Cliff Korman has immersed himself in the musical universe of the South American country. He will play at (Le) Poisson Rouge with his trio and special guest Billy Drewes. The concert will be an homage to legendary Brazilian clarinetist Paulo Moura, with whom Korman worked closely. This concert is presented in collaboration with Savassi Festival NY.

Cliff Korman Ensemble:
Cliff Korman, piano
Augusto Mattoso, bass
Pascoal Meirelles, drums
Special guest: Billy Drewes, sax

Cliff Korman Trio performing Bebé by Hermeto Pascoal

Cliff Korman is a pianist, arranger, composer, producer, and educator whose 20 years of immersion in the musical universe of Brazil shed a different light on the way he looks at American jazz. 

He has developed numerous jazz projects featuring Brazilian and American musicians and presenting a variety of original compositions and arrangements. His understanding of the diversity of sound, instrumentation, and harmonic patterns of Brazilian music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries enables him to continuously explore the complex interconnections that link the music of the Americas. 

Korman has performed as a soloist and co-leader in New York venues including Birdland, The Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, and Lincoln Center, as well as in Italy at the Cantar da Costa Festival of Brazilian Music and Culture and the Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival in Rome. 

He toured with vocalist Astrud Gilberto from 1989 to 1994, and has participated in important Brazilian projects such as the “Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim” at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Cesar Camargo Mariano and a two-piano production with Wagner Tiso and Milton Nascimento at the International Festival of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) in São Paulo. 

He has produced and arranged a number of Brazilian Jazz CD’s including Chuck Mangione’s The Feeling’s Back, Entre Amigos, a project featuring vocalist Rosa Passos and bassist Ron Carter, and Wendy Luck's 2006 release See You In Rio

His recording Migrations (Planet Arts, 2004) is an aural representation of the mark Brazilian music and culture have made on his compositions and improvisational language. His duo record Mood Ingênuo: The Dream of Pixinguinha and Duke Ellington (Jazzheads, 1999) with 2000 Grammy Award winner Paulo Moura represents one of the first cross-cultural explorations of jazz and choro. Their 2000 recording Gafieira Dance Brasil pays homage to the dance roots of the instrumental and improvisational tradition of Brazilian music. Korman also appears on numerous recordings made in Brasil, including the series Bossa Jazz which features his arrangements of songs of composer Pacifico Mascarenas, Samblues, (Juarez Moreira) and Era Só Começo Nosso Fim (Yuri Popoff). 

Korman holds a Master of Arts in jazz performance from the City College of New York, where he trained with Roland Hanna, Ron Carter, and Kenny Barron. He regularly teaches courses and seminars on jazz piano, jazz theory, improvisation, rhythm section skills, and Brazilian instrumental music at institutions including City College, the Escola de Música of Brasilia, The Collective, and the New School. Cliff is a candidate for the DMA in advanced jazz studies at the Manhattan School of Music, where as a faculty member he teaches Brazilian popular music history and guides the Brazilian Combo. Korman’s research in the fields of jazz and Brazilian music has received prestigious recognition, including a Fulbright lecture/research grant in Brasil, the invitation by the Society for American Music to deliver a paper on the music of Thelonious Monk, the publication of an article on the same topic in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, and the invitation to present his lecture "Jazz and Brazilian Instrumental Music: Common Roots, Divergent Paths" at the Jazz Research Roundtable at Rutgers University. 

He is co-author of the instructional book Inside the Brazilian Rhythm Section (Sher Music 2002). He contributed to the Jazz Times' 2005-2006 Jazz education guide with an article "Tales from the Practice Room." As do most musicians based in New York City, Korman often appears in ensembles that do not necessarily focus on his specialty. He very much enjoys playing in big bands, and has played with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Chico O'Farrill Orchestra, Thiago De Mello's Amazon, and Gary Morgan's ensemble PanAmericana.

This event is in association with the Young Professionals of the Americas.
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