Brad Mehldau Trio; Friday, April 4, 2014

Brad Mehldau Trio
Friday, April 4
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

“…the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years.” – New York Times

Pianist Brad Mehldau has been recording and performing extensively since the early 1990s, yet his most consistent and lauded output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Joined by two West Coast-raised compatriots, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, the trio is a strikingly dynamic group. First and foremost an improviser, Mehldau works off the surprise and wonder that occur from the spontaneous directions that this trio travels. Their latest album, Where Do You Start, continues this wonderful tradition.

Mehldau’s musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea executed in real time.  He also has a deep fascination for the formal and classical architecture of music, and it informs much of what he plays.  Together with Ballard (a Santa Cruz native who has played with Chick Corea and Kurt Rosenwinkel) and Grenadier (a Bay Area jazz scene alum who has gigged extensively with Pat Metheny, John Scofied and others) he imbues each tune with a strongly felt narrative arch.  The two sides of Mehldau’s personality – the improviser and the formalist – play off each other beautifully.

Having performed around the world at a steady pace since the beginning of his career, Mehldau’s performances convey a wide range of expression and fans have come to look forward to his originals as well as off-the-cuff covers of popular songs.  They also have his trademark spontaneity; a burning jazz number could be followed by a sparse, emotionally direct ballad. Mehldau favors juxtaposing extremes.

His first record for Nonesuch, Brad Mehldau Live in Tokyo, was released in 2004, kicking off a partnership of great records that continues today.  The label released its first album from the Brad Mehldau Trio, Day is Done, in 2005 and an exciting double live recording titled Brad Mehldau Trio Live released in 2008 to much acclaim.  On Where Do You Start, the trio showcases ten songs penned by other composers, alongside a signature Mehldau original.  It is another fine addition to the trio’s catalog, with the London Daily Telegraph saying that is “shows Mehldau’s inventive powers are as fresh as ever…and the interplay with Ballard and Grenadier is masterly.”

Brad Mehldau Trio

DATE:  Friday, April 4, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM
PRICE: $28/Adv $33/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Melissa Cusick
(212) 707-2912

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