MUSICAL TRIO TO JAZZ UP CONCERT
An unlikely union between an Australian trumpet maestro, a Romanian pianist and an indie pop singer is set to delight jazz fans
I like hearing me play when I am with him.’’
Even though they live at opposite ends of the planet, Morrison in Australia and Petrescu in Finland, they get together as often as they can.
In his role as artistic director of the Queensland Music Festival, Morrison invited Petrescu to Brisbane to play in 2013 and he returns for the QMF for a concert with Morrison and Megan Washington, the opening night of an Australian tour for the trio.
“With Marian, it’s the most complete piano playing I have heard,” Morrison says.
“He’s classically trained and draws on all the masters, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Liszt, and then he brings in his jazz influences. First and foremost he’s a player of the piano and he uses that as a vehicle to create jazz.
“Starting out in Romania, you are going to have your own journey. Often as a jazz musician that’s the hardest thing to find, your own way of doing it.’’
Petrescu has already been to Australia this year to record an album with Morrison. The tour also marks Washington’s return to jazz, which is what she was singing as a student at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music when Morrison first heard her.
“She won a competition where I was adjudicating,” Morrison says. “She hasn’t been seen in public as a jazz singer for 10 years and she has many fans who have never heard her sing that way.
“The concert for the QMF will be special. There will be fans of Megan, there will be fans of myself and Marian playing jazz and probably not many who are fans of both. It will be exciting for her fans to hear her this way and for fans of jazz to hear her too. I think there will be lots of fans of both by the end of the night.’’
Morrison is a virtuoso in the true sense of the word.
The multi-instrumentalist, who always delivers an unforgettable performance, has performed with every artist imaginable around the world.
His longstanding relationship with music continues to develop as he explores new ways of refreshing a classic genre.
“I focus on what’s happening now or what I’m doing next,” he says.
“I have the freedom to say ‘let’s just do what we feel like’ ... it’s a blessing, I’m very lucky.”
The trumpet maestro celebrated three decades in the business last year with the release of his first greatest hits album The Very Best of James Morrison.
“When it did come around to me choosing songs, I wanted to make sure there was a spread of instruments, styles and compilations,” he says.
“It had to grab me … it didn’t take me long to pick for a double CD, I could do five of them with what I wanted.”
James Morrison will join Marian Petrescu and Megan Washington on stage.