Mother’s Love Celebration
curated by J. Michael Harrison
Featuring Vijay Iyer, ELEW, Nik Baertsch and Dayramir Gonzalez.
J. Michael Harrison
J-Michael Harrison’s first radio show, WPEB’s, “Is That Jazz” launched in June of 1993. In 1994 he began volunteering with WRTI as a production assistant. In 1996 J. Michael started his own show, The Bridge, which continues to air on Friday nights to this day.
The Bridge was selected as Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Radio Program” in 2002, and in 2007, the Philadelphia City Paper called it the “Best On-Air Reminder That Jazz Didn’t Die in 1965.” The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and the Performing Arts made him a Stakeholder in 2016. He was presented the Above & Beyond award for Outstanding Contributions to Arts & Culture by the People’s Emergency Center in 2017, that same year the Jazz Journalist Association named him a “Jazz Hero.”
Since 2008 he has taught a master music journalism class at the University of the Arts. He’s presented lectures to students in the Philadelphia school system, Temple University, Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania. He has written liner notes, has sat on and moderated panels, has curated series, produced events, and hosted concerts in Philadelphia, NJ, New York City, and New Orleans. He was executive producer on Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s 1999 CD BrotherZone. He’s worked closely with the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Philadelphia, Jazz Bridge, Jazz Near You and other organizations. “Music is truly my sanctuary, a reason to live, and a bright moment” he says.
Recently he has contributed to NPR’s Station Breaks, Slingshot and Jazz Night in America series and serves as executive producer for WRTI’s jazz video content on NPR’s Live Sessions, Facebook and YouTube. Since 2018, he’s been dedicated to nurturing and cultivating a growing WRTI community engagement initiative in partnership with the Rainey Family of the POV documentary film Quest, directed by Jonathan Olshefski.
Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” composer-pianist VIJAY IYER has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in twenty-first-century music. He received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, a Grammy nomination, and the Alpert Award in the Arts, and was voted Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last decade.
He has released two dozen albums, including The Transitory Poems (ECM Records, 2019) in duo with pianist Craig Taborn; Far From Over (ECM, 2017) with the Vijay Iyer Sextet; A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio; the live score to the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013) with poet-performer Mike Ladd.
Iyer’s concert works have been commissioned and premiered by Brentano Quartet, Lutoslawski Quartet, Ethel, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, LAPhil Group for New Music, American Composers Orchestra, and soloists Matt Haimowitz, Claire Chase, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Shai Wosner, and Jennifer Koh. Iyer is the Artistic Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. He teaches at Harvard University.
Eric Lewis began his career as a jazz pianist, performing alongside icons such as Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. A decade into his career he re-emerged as ELEW and began
fusing his classically trained piano skills with modern pop and rock music generating a new genre of music called Rockjazz. He has performed at the behest of Google, Fendi, Disney, Mercedes Benz, Salesforce, and various Royal Families around the globe. ELEW has even taken Rockjazz to the White House, where he played for Barack and Michelle Obama in the East Room. ELEW’s unparalleled creativity, innovation, and passion has propelled him to new endeavors in his career; that range from Composing for films, Screenwriting, Directing, DJ-ing, to speaking engagements for Fortune 100 companies, non-profit organizations and luxury brands.
ELEW’s latest album called “ELEW Plays Rosenwinkel – Cubism” features solo piano renditions of eleven Kurt Rosenwinkel compositions reimagined through ELEW’s unique creative lens.
“Wholly unexpected, deeply personal” Nate Chinen, former critic for The NY- Times,
director of editorial at WBGO, NPR Music contributor and author of “Cubism” liner notes.
Born 1971 in Zurich. Pianist, composer and producer. Lives in Zurich. Instruction in piano and percussion from the age 8. 1997 Graduation from the ‘Musikhochschule Zürich’. 1998-2001 studies in philosophy, linguistics and musicology at the University of Zurich. 2003/04 stay in japan for half a year. Ongoing work on his RITUAL GROOVE MUSIC as pianist and composer. Leader of the acoustic music ritual group MOBILE (since 1997) and the zen-funk quartet RONIN (since 2001). Instructor for ‘Practical Aesthetics’ at the ‘Musikhochschule Zürich/Winterthur’ (2000-2003). Founder of the label Ronin Rhythm Records, a platform for creative groove music (since 2006). Co-founder of the Music club EXIL in Zurich (2009). Co-founder and co-artistic director (together with Judd Greenstein and Etienne Abelin) of the Indie Classical Festival Zurich Apples and Olives (since 2014). Interest in the influence and the combination of music and movement, specially in the following body techniques: Aikido, Feldenkrais, Gyrotonic. Nik trains at Kokoro Aikido Dojo Zurich (3rd Dan). Residencies, workshops and lectures at several institutions (f.e. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance London (UK), Musikhochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig (DE), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (CH), Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (CH), Conservatorio Die Musica Trieste (IT), Accademia Di Architettura Mendrisio (CH), ETH Zürich (CH).
Dayramir Gonzalez Afro-Cuban Jazz Pianist and Composer (Short Bio) Dayramir began his professional career as a pianist and composer with former Irakere member, Oscar Valdes’ Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble Diákara at the age of 16. Since winning Havana’s JoJazz festival in 2004 and 2005, Dayramir has gone from winning three Cubadisco awards for his 2007 debut album “Dayramir & Habana enTRANCé” to becoming Berklee College of Music’s first Cuban national “Presidential Scholarship” recipient to performing in 15,000-seat stadiums with legends like Chucho and Bebo Valdes and headlining Carnegie Hall, representing the young generation of Afro-Cuban jazz. The culmination of his journey as a young Havana-native who continues and brings the Afro Cuban music legacy to New York is synthesized in his latest album “The Grand Concourse,” a name inspired by the thoroughfare that runs through the Bronx and a concept that reflects the uncommonly dynamic range of pieces from the pulsating West African bass motif found in Situaciones en 12/8 to the contemporary take on the classical Cuban tradition of the late 19th century to the haunting orchestral jazz ballad of Blood Brothers. Dayramir is making his mark as a leading international composer, orchestrator, bandleader and pianist.