Dick Hyman, Judy Hyman, Diversatility
Emmy award–winning pianist, music director, and composer Dick Hyman and his daughter, the Emmy award–winning violinist and composer Judy Hyman, will perform an album-release concert titled "Diversatility" on Tuesday, October 9th at 8 pm at Barnes Hall on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York.
The concert will feature the father and daughter playing pieces from Late Last Summer, their first-ever album together. The album of waltzes was recorded at Ithaca's Pyramid Sound and will be released on October 23rd by Left Ear Music. Jeff Claus, Judy's husband who records and tours with Judy as part of The Horse Flies and Boy with a Fish will join the duo on guitar and banjo uke for select tunes. Dick Hyman will also play solo jazz piano pieces. For the final part of the evening, Dick and Judy will honor the centennial of filmmaking in Ithaca by performing live accompaniment to a screening of an episode of Beatrice Fairfax, a silent film made in Ithaca almost 100 years ago. Dick last played in Ithaca at Ford Hall in 2009.
"Judy and I are calling this concert 'Diversatility' because it will celebrate such a variety of music," says Dick Hyman.
"Late in the summer of 2011," Judy Hyman said, "my father and I spent a week in the studio recording some waltzes I've written over the past 10 years or so. We had never recorded together before, despite his lengthy career as a jazz pianist, music director, and composer and my work as a violinist/fiddler, composer and teacher. With his 85th and my 60th birthdays approaching, this seemed like a beautiful way for us to connect and collaborate. And, because a number of the pieces were written for family members and friends, the project turned out to be a deeply emotional experience for both of us."
Concert producer Aaron Pichel, a noted film historian and entertainment attorney, has been researching and presenting Ithaca silent movies with live accompaniment for a number of years, including the annual screening at the State Theatre during Ithaca Festival, which brings in standing-room-only crowds of over 1,600, the largest indoor silent film screening in the world.
"Both Dick and Judy have vibrant musical careers and tremendous experience in creating and performing music for film and television," Pichel said. "We are thrilled they have chosen to launch their new album with an event that will also commemorate the centennial of filmmaking in Ithaca."
Silent filmmaker Theodore Wharton came to Ithaca in October, 1912 to make his first one-reel Ithaca movie, Football Days at Cornell, and went on to produce silent film serials including Beatrice Fairfax, Exploits of Elaine, and Patria. Wharton formed an important movie studio in Ithaca and worked with well-known actors including PEarl White, Lionel Barrymore, Warner Oland (later famous as Charlie Chan), and Oliver Hardy (later of Laurel and Hardy fame).
Admired for his masterful improvisation and astounding versatility, Dick Hyman is a celebrated pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. Named this year by National Public Radio as "a living, breathing, swinging encyclopedia of jazz," Dick has recorded over 100 albums under his own name and has performed on countless others. Dick embarked on his career in the 1950s, freelancing in New York City's booming music scene. At the opening of the famed Birdland, he displayed his versatility by playing with both Lester Young, the reigning swing saxophonist, and Max Kaminsky's Dixielanders. He was also heard at Bop City with Red Norvo, at Café Society with Tony Scott, and was a soloist at Wells' Music Bar in Harlem and at The Composer on New York's East Side. Some of the artists Dick Hyman has played with or arranged for include Barbra Streisand, André Kostelanetz, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Bette Midler, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Avalon, Aretha Franklin, Percy Faith, and, on one remarkable occasion, Igor Stravinsky.