Pianist extraordinaire Bill Cunliffe leads Dynamic Trio featuring legendary drummer Harvey Mason Live at Nighttown!
Featuring: Bill Cunliffe-piano, Harvey Mason-drums, & Martin Wind-acoustic bass
Special Guest opening act Guitarist Joshua Breakstone.
Jazz pianist, composer and Grammy Award-winning arranger Bill Cunliffe is known for his innovative and swinging recordings and compositions. Bill began his career as pianist and arranger with the Buddy Rich Big Band and worked with Frank Sinatra, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson and James Moody. He has since established himself as a solo artist and bandleader, with more than a dozen albums under his name.
Bill currently plays with his trio; his big band; his Latin band, Imaginación; and his classical-jazz ensemble, Trimotif.
His latest recording is the Bill Cunliffe Trio album “River Edge, New Jersey,” with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Tim Horner, released in April by Azica Records.
Other recent releases include his Overture, Waltz and Rondo for jazz piano, trumpet and orchestra. Bill performed the work with trumpeter Terell Stafford and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Luis Biava. The recording won Bill his fifth Grammy nomination, in the Best Instrumental Composition category.
Bill wrote the score for the film “On the Shoulders of Giants,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s homage to the Harlem Rens basketball team of the 1920s and ’30s. The movie recently received an NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary. Bill’s soundtrack was nominated for Best Album.
Bill was awarded a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for “West Side Story Medley,” on the album “Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson” (Resonance Records, 2009). In addition to receiving five Grammy nominations, he is a two-time Emmy nominee.
The Los Angeles Jazz Society honored Bill in 2010 with its Composer/Arranger Award. That year he was also named a Distinguished Faculty Member of the College of the Arts at Cal State Fullerton, where he is a jazz studies professor.
Bill grew up in Andover, Mass. He studied jazz at Duke University with pianist Mary Lou Williams and received his master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. He was the 1989 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition.
You will have only begun to scratch the surface by identifying the masterful Harvey Mason as just a drummer. His precision time keeping and versatility have placed him among THE most in-demand and most recorded session drummers of all-time. His tumbling tom-tom fills and the lickity slick synchronization between his hi-hat cymbals, snare and bass drums are instantly recognizable signatures.
He’s been hired by everyone from Barbra Streisand to James Brown to Mary J to Herbie Hancock to Jennifer Hudson to Frank Sinatra to John Legend to the London Symphony Orchestra. He has won four 1st place plaques from Modern Drummer magazine’s annual studio poll and has been the first call drummer for the Academy Awards ceremonies on 25 occasions.