Jazz pianist, composer, author and recording artist Kenny Werner will participate in three public events over the course of two days, Nov. 17 and 19, as part of a four-day residency at MIT.
The Nov. 19 concert will mark the first time local audiences will have the rare opportunity to see Werner perform in solo, duo, combo and jazz ensemble settings all in the course of one performance. The concert features the world premiere of a new work by Werner, "Higher Learning," commissioned by the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble.
Werner has been a jazz pianist and composer on the national and international scene for more than 25 years. He has worked with such jazz giants as Charles Mingus, Ron Carter, Bobby McFerrin, Gunther Schuller and Toots Thielmans. He has led his own trio and recorded with it on labels including Sunnyside Records, RCA/BMG, and most recently, Half Note Records. A noted composer, Werner has received numerous commissions and is currently artist in residence at New York University.
He has written several articles and his book, "Effortless Mastery," influenced many musicians' approach to practice, play and listening. The "Effortless Mastery" method applies Eastern philosophy, Christian and Jewish mysticism and ancient disciplines such as yoga and tai chi to help remove blocks to creativity.
Werner's event schedule
Today, Nov. 17, Werner will perform with MIT faculty and student poets who will share their work with him. Werner will respond to it with piano improvisations. "Words and Music" will be held in Killian Hall from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
"Effortless Mastery with Kenny Werner: Liberating the Master Musician Within," a lecture-demonstration based on Werner's book, will be held this evening at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. Some of MIT's musicians will perform for Werner, who will offer his insights into their performances.
Friday, Nov. 19, the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, directed by Frederick Harris, Jr., will perform a program with Werner. "The Musical World of Kenny Werner" will feature the world premiere of a composition commissioned from Werner by the ensemble entitled "Higher Learning," as well as other of Werner's original works for jazz ensemble. Werner will perform in big band, small group and solo settings. Admission is $5 at the door. The concert begins at 8 p.m.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 17, 2004 (download PDF).