ROCHESTER, NY A young woman from New York City who initially studied to be a software engineer is the talented jazz pianist wholl be featured in the third annual "Marian McPartland/Eastman Jazz Series" to be held at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 10, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.) at the Eastman School of Music.
Legendary jazz pianist Marian McPartland and the Eastman jazz faculty have selected Roberta Piket called "one of the most accomplished and inventive young jazz pianists on the scene," by Piano and Keyboard magazine for their annual concert, designed specifically to shine the spotlight on exceptional jazz pianists who deserve wider recognition.
In concert, Piket will perform a variety of jazz standards in addition to some of her own compositions. McPartland will perform as well, both solo and with her featured guest. While at Eastman, Piket also will present a workshop for jazz students.
A pianist and composer, Piket trained at both the New England Conservatory and Tufts University receiving bachelors degrees in both music and computer science. In addition to performing solo, she has played professionally with several artists including Lionel Hampton, Rufus Reid, David Liebman, the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, and others. She also leads two groups: The Roberta Piket Trio and Alternating Current. Her trio has toured Japan, New England, the Midwest, and elsewhere, performing at such notable places as the Blue Note Club (Fukuoka, Japan) and the Kennedy center (Washington, D.C.). In addition, Piket has recorded both solo and with other artists. Her trios CD, Live at the Blue Note, was named one of the five best recordings of 1999 by Jazz Times. Her latest CD, Speak, Memory, was released last fall on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label. Also an educator, she has taught at Long Island University, presented clinics at Duke, Rutgers, and schools throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, and maintains an active schedule of lectures, master classes, and private lesssons.
"Roberta has a fantastic talent," said McPartland, who has featured Piket twice on her National Public Radio show, Piano Jazz, which airs locally on WXXI-AM. "She is very original in her playing and will no doubt go far."
Reserved tickets for the concert at Eastman are $15, $10, and $5. They are available in advance at Ticket Express, 100 East Ave., or by calling 222-5000. Although the concert is likely to sell out in advance as it has done the past two years, any unsold tickets will be available at the hall box office one hour before the concert.
Note to editors: Roberta Piket and Marian McPartland are available for interviews. Photos are available.