Bill Cunliffe Trio to Perform in Long Beach Bach Festival

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An Evening with Bill Cunliffe & Friends featuring Bill Cunliffe, Martin Wind, and Tim Horner.

An Evening with Bill Cunliffe & Friends featuring Bill Cunliffe, Martin Wind, and Tim Horner.

Jazz pianist, composer, and Grammy® award-winning arranger, Bill Cunliffe comes to Long Beach on Sunday, March 16, 2014, along with his jazz trio as part of the Long Beach Camerata Singers-sponsored Long Beach Bach Festival. This year’s annual wine and jazz event, deemed An Evening with Bill Cunliffe & Friends, includes live entertainment, wine tasting and light hors d’oeuvres at The Sky Room restaurant.

With Cunliffe on piano, Tim Horner on drums, and Martin Wind on bass, the Bill Cunliffe Trio will perform various jazz arrangements, including several based on the most famous works of composer J. S. Bach (1685-1750). Known for his innovative compositions and swinging recordings, Cunliffe is in demand as a composer, arranger, and pianist. He has just completed recording an album (Columbia, 2014) with pop icon Freda Payne, for which he served as producer, writer and conductor. Cunliffe received his first Grammy® award in 2009 for Best Instrumental Arrangement for West Side Story Medley on the album Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson (Resonance Records, 2009). Since then, he has received five Grammy nominations and two Emmy nominations.

The Bill Cunliffe Trio’s latest album is River Edge, New Jersey (Azica Records, 2013). Other recent releases include Cunliffe’s album Overture, Waltz and Rondo for jazz piano, trumpet and orchestra (BCM+D Records 2012). Cunliffe performed this work with trumpeter Terell Stafford and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Luis Biava. The recording won Cunliffe his fifth Grammy® nomination in the category of Best Instrumental Composition. Also released in 2012 was his Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, with tubist Jim Self and the Hollywood Ensemble with Cunliffe conducting (Metre Records, 2012). Cunliffe’s album of solo-piano improvisations on Christmas carols, That Time of Year (Metre Records, 2011), was described by the Los Angeles Times as a tour de force. Cunliffe’s other recordings show his affinity for Latin rhythms (Bill in Brazil, Imaginacion and his Grammy®-nominated trumpet concerto Fourth streamLa Banda) and pay tribute to some of his musical heroes including Bud Powell, Oliver Nelson and Paul Simon.

The Los Angeles Jazz Society honored Cunliffe in 2010 with its Composer/Arranger Award, and the same year, California State University, Fullerton, named him a Distinguished Faculty Member of the College of the Arts. Cunliffe teaches Jazz Studies at the University, and summers, he teaches at Skidmore Jazz Institute and the Vail Jazz Workshop. In addition, he writes scores for films and writes books on jazz.

For almost a decade, drummer Tim Horner and bassist Martin Wind have performed with Cunliffe in the Bill Cunliffe Trio. Both Horner and Wind have wide-ranging careers in music. Horner’s first major professional work was with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra as a drummer, and today he performs as drummer with The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra in New York City as well as in European venues. German-born bass player Martin Wind first came to New York University in 1996 on a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. Settled in New York City today, he is a regular at major jazz clubs and in demand as a recording session player. He can be heard in such movies as The Alamo, Intolerable Cruelty, Mona Lisa Smiles, Fur, The Bounty Hunter and True Grit. In addition, he has released 10 albums. He is on the faculty of New York University and is a guest bass performer at numerous jazz programs in the United States and Europe.

An Evening with Bill Cunliffe & Friends is Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. at The Sky Room restaurant, 40 South Locust Avenue, Long Beach.

Tickets for this event cost $50 and can be reserved and purchased via phone at (562) 522-1045.

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