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Classically trained in Romania, pianist Lucian Ban, increasingly recognized for his modernist jazz, teamed up with stellar saxophonist Jorge Sylvester last Sunday night at Poncho Hall at Cornish College as Earshot Jazz Festival continues.
Lucian Ban is originally from Romania, where he grew up listening to both traditional and classical music. He studied composition at the Bucharest Music Academy while leading his own jazz groups, and notes that his approach to improvisation has been influenced by Romanian modern classical composers. Desire to get closer to the source of jazz brought him to the United States, and his ensembles have included many of New York’s finest players. Ban leads the super group ELEVATION, the ASYMMETRY Quartet, and The TUBA PROJECT. He co-leads with renowned bassist John Hebert the acclaimed project “Enesco Re-Imagined,” an ensemble that presents a radical reinterpretation of 20th-century classical genius George Enesco. Ban has released nine critically acclaimed albums as a leader for American and European labels. He performs and tours regularly with his projects and as a sideman in New York jazz clubs and European Festivals, and between 2002 and 2005 was a member of The BMI Composers Jazz Workshop. Ban also wrote music for more than 20 theater and dance productions, and has been nominated twice for Best European Jazz Musician by the Hans Koller Foundation. Lucian Ban has received his degree in Contemporary Jazz Composition and Arranging from New School University in New York, and he also holds a degree in Philosophy from Bucharest University.

A unique innovator in the idiom of creative music, Jorge Sylvester’s sound is reminiscent of another time in jazz history when artists like Dolphy and Ornette were exploding on the scene and experimenting with concepts that would ultimately revolutionize music at large. A throwback to the future, Sylvester has been on the edge of that scene since 1980 when he first came to New York City. His blend of African Caribbean rhythms with new music is what gives Sylvester his distinguished voice. An impressive composer and arranger, his music moves, entices and stirs the imagination. Born in Colon, Panama Sylvester attended the Panama Conservatory of Music and the University of Panama. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music from the State University of New York College of New Paltz in 1981. Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.

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