Get ready for a rollicking evening of jazz during the grand return of Armstrong’s Piano in the Arts series. Highlighting pieces by Cole Porter, Les McCann, and Rodgers and Hart, up-and-coming American pianist Joe Alterman and his trio (Scott Glazer on bass, and Justin Chesarek on drums) will hit favorites from "Blue Moon" to "Soft Summer Breeze" to "Isn’t She Lovely?"
Alterman, an Atlanta native, attended New York University in 2007 and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music, studying under the likes of Don Friedman, Joe Lovano, and John Schofield.
His talents have landed him gigs at noteworthy venues like Blue Note Jazz Club in Milan, Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., Germantown Performing Arts Center in Memphis, Atlanta’s Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, and many more.
A fluid and vivacious player, Alterman has an album coming out in collaboration with bassist James Cammack of Ahmad Jamal Trio and has performed with greats like Les McCann, Houston Person, and Tony Middleton, and a myriad of noteworthy players.
“His concerts are always fun,” says Benjamin Warsaw, Armstrong Piano Department Chair. “Audiences get up, clap, and dance—you won’t want to sit still at this concert! You’ll be tapping your foot the entire time.”
Trio bassist Glazer is an Atlantan, as well; a Georgia State alum, he’s toured the world while performing with Grammy winner Earl Klugh, The Last Waltz Ensemble, Houston Person, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, and more. He has a group of his own, Scott Glazer’s Mojo Dojo, specializing in Southern soul, jazz, blues, rock and bop.
Justin Chesarek graduated from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelors of Music in Education and received his Masters of Music at Georgia State. He’s gone on to grace stages with Houston Person, Jerry Bergonzi, and Johnny O’Neal and play at esteemed festivals like Montreaux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival.
Warsaw encourages audiences to come see spirited jazz placed front and center.
“We’re so used to hearing jazz music as background music,” he notes. “You go to a bar, you go to a restaurant, you just hear jazz in the background.”
The Joe Alderman Trio gig kicks off a new year of the Piano in the Arts series.
“I started this program about three years ago,” Warsaw recounts. “This is our third season, and it started as a way to provide different types of music—always featuring the piano—for Savannah audiences.”
Each performance is complemented by a free class, open to the public, the following day.
“It’s an opportunity to see them perform and then get close-up to how they learn and how they teach themselves,” he explains.
Alderman’s class takes place Friday, January 22, at 3 p.m., in the Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium.
Thursday, January 21, 7:30 p.m., $15 (discounts available), all-ages