Jazz vir­tu­osos Peter and Will An­der­son re­turn to play Gershwin hits at the Har­wood

Tempo - - •VISUALARTS• - By Yvonne Pes­quera

Peter and Will An­der­son are back in Taos for their fourth year in a row. At the Har­wood Mu­seum of Art, Fri­day (May 4), the con­cert ti­tle is “Jazz: The An­der­son Broth­ers Play Gershwin.” The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Arthur Bell Au­di­to­rium at the Har­wood, 238 Le­doux Street.

AmyRankin is the co­or­di­na­tor of pub­lic pro­grams at the Har­wood. She said the An­der­son broth­ers in­quired about a book­ing four years ago be­cause they were doing a tour that would put them in the vicin­ity.

“When I looked into their mu­sic and ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said, “I found that they are very ac­com­plished and highly re­garded in the jazz world. They put on a very high-qual­ity con­cert. They are charm­ing, en­gag­ing, gra­cious and just gen­er­ally re­ally nice guys.”

The sib­ling mu­si­cians ac­tu­ally com­prise a trio. The An­der­son twins will play reed in­stru­ments, such as the clar­inet and flute, as well as alto, tenor, and so­prano sax­o­phone. Parisian Felix Le­merle will ac­com­pany them on an acous­tic, hol­low body gui­tar, and he’ll be us­ing an am­pli­fier.

“That’s kind of the way jazz mu­si­cians have played,” Will An­der­son said in a phone in­ter­view. “Char­lie Chris­tian, who played­with Benny Good­man, was one of the first to in­tro­duce an acous­tic-elec­tric gui­tar. It has a re­ally beau­ti­ful sound.”

The press an­nounce­ment states that TheNew York Times called the An­der­son broth­ers “vir­tu­osos on clar­inet and sax­o­phone.” Known for their unique ren­di­tions of clas­sic jazz songs and in­no­va­tive orig­i­nal mu­sic, they live in


Fri­day (May 4) 7:30 p.m. Har­wood Mu­seum of Art, 238 Le­doux Street Tick­ets $15, $12 mem­bers (575) 758-9826 with Parisian gui­tarist Felix Le­merle in cen­ter. NewYork where they grad­u­ated from the Juil­liard School. They have head­lined at pre­em­i­nent venues, such as The Blue Note, Jazz at Lin­coln Cen­ter, The Kennedy Cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton,D.C., and the New Or­leans Jazz Fes­ti­val, to name a few.

Their ap­pear­ance in Taos is made pos­si­ble, in part, by a lodg­ing spon­sor­ship from The Taos Inn and a grant from The Richard B. Siegel Foun­da­tion.

Will An­der­son re­flected on the trio’s past per­for­mances in Taos, “We al­ways get a great au­di­ence, very pas­sion­ate fans of mu­sic and jazz. We love Taos.”

He noted that be­fore, the jazz trio didn’t have a par­tic­u­lar con­cert theme. They nat­u­rally play a lot of the Great Amer­i­can Song­book, such as Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers. “So this par­tic­u­lar time we wanted to fo­cus on Ge­orge Gershwin. He has so many gems: ‘Rhap­sody in­Blue’ and ‘Sum­mer­time.’ We haveaw­hole pro­gram planned. He’s prob­a­bly one of our fa­vorite com­posers.”

As guest clin­i­cians, the An­der­son broth­ers have vis­ited Tem­ple Univer­sity, Xavier Univer­sity, and Univer­sity of South

Florida, among many other col­leges. They feel very com­fort­able shar­ing their knowl­edge of jazz in an af­fa­ble way.

“When we per­form, we in­ter­ject with fun facts about the mu­sic: also, what we love about it and how it evolved from New Or­leans start­ing with Louis Arm­strong. We take an in­ter­mis­sion and talk to the au­di­ence af­ter­ward. We love ed­u­cat­ing new, in­ter­ested par­ties who don’t knowa lot about jazz. But in Taos, they are very knowl­edge­able about jazz,” An­der­son said.

The An­der­sons may be iden­ti­cal twins, but their co-ca­reer path was a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion rather than a de­lib­er­ate choice. Their par­ents, who are teach­ers, would take the young broth­ers from their home in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. to NewYork City for the hol­i­days.

There they would at­tend jazz per­for­mances at hallowed grounds, such as the Vil­lage Van­guard. They even got to meet some pro­fes­sion­als.

“We re­al­ly­wanted to be in NewYork City after high school. It just worked out. We feel very lucky. Be­ing in­New York was the cat­a­lyst for what a life en­gulfed in jazz mu­sic feels like,” Will An­der­son said.

Peo­ple con­fuse the twin broth­ers all the time. Even friends who are close with them in the mu­sic com­mu­nity can’t tell them apart vis­ually, but can tell the broth­ers apart mu­si­cally. “There’s some­thing about jazz mu­sic that al­lows for so­much free­dom,” he said. “We’ve de­vel­oped dif­fer­ent styles of play­ing.”

The clar­inet was in­stru­men­tal (no pun in­tended) in the for­ma­tion of jazz mu­sic. It has a low-to-high range an­da­woody sound that can vi­brate. “It’s a free sound,” An­der­son said. “It can go in a lot of dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions; it is very easy to bend the sound up or down.”

On the flip side, the sax­o­phone was cre­ated as an at­tempt to be louder than the clar­inet. “Sonny Rollins played the ten­sor sax, and he had a huge sax,” he said. “His play­ing is go­ing to be a lot louder than clar­inet play­ers Benny Good­man and Ar­tie Shaw. We em­brace both.”

In 2014, the An­der­son broth­ers staged an Off-Broad­way­mu­sic re­view that was nom­i­nated for a Drama Desk Award. This sum­mer, for the en­tirety of Au­gust, they will stage their next Off-Broad­way pro­duc­tion at the acous­ti­cally revered Sym­phony Space in Man­hat­tan. The show will cel­e­brate four Amer­i­can com­posers: Irv­ing Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, Jerome Kern and Jim­myVan Heusen.

“There is a grow­ing wave of younger jazz mu­si­cians who are play­ing more of the clas­sics. In jazzmu­sic, there are a lot of dif­fer­ent types of jazz, and re­cently, there is a re­nais­sance to re­dis­cover the Great Amer­i­can Song­book. One goal is to keep younger peo­ple en­gaged. We’ve been on tour for a month and have been vis­it­ing a dozen high schools. We love talk­ing to younger stu­dents who are into jazz and ed­u­cate them about these com­posers,” An­der­son said.

Tick­ets to the An­der­son’s jazz showare $15, $12 for­mu­seum mem­bers. For­more in­for­ma­tion, call (575) 758-9826 or visit har­wood­mu­



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