This presentation will observe the development of the piano throughout jazz history. Beginning with ragtime and blues music, we will explore how features from those styles were incorporated by Jelly Roll Morton into New Orleans and traditional jazz. We will listen to the kings of stride, including James P. Johnson and Fats Waller and will highlight the impact on Art Tatum, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. We’ll observe the influences of boogie-woogie and delight in the piano’s role in bebop, hard-bop and cool jazz by such masters as Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Phineas Newborn, Dave Brubeck, and Horace Silver. This talk will conclude with a look at pioneers of modern jazz piano such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and players making the scene today like Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran, Christian Sands and Robert Glasper.
Eugene Uman is the director of the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont where he has produced hundreds of concerts and educational programs since 1997. Uman taught in New York City at the Third Street Music Settlement and is currently the jazz piano instructor at Amherst College. He also taught at UMass, Amherst and ran the Jazz Studies program at Greenfield Community College. He continues to foster a close relationship with the blossoming jazz movement in Medellín, Colombia having taught at el Colegio de Musica, la Universidad de Antioquia and la Universidad EAFIT (where he designed the curriculum and initiated the Jazz Studies program). Uman hosts a weekly radio show on WVEW FM that has given him the opportunity to interview and preserve over 30 in-depth conversations with renowned jazz artists who have performed at the Vermont Jazz Center. His latest project is digitizing and cataloging the 40-year history of the Vermont Jazz Center’s collection of audio, video and ephemera, including the archives of founding director, Attila Zoller.