Celebrated as an artist of fierce imagination and singular vision, pianist and composer Ken Berman will unveil his latest project, Sound Poetry, at Dinkelspiel Auditorium. Berman’s acclaimed trio, featuring Kai Eckhardt and Akira Tana, seamlessly navigates the terrain between tradition and innovation through its extemporaneous explorations. Born out of Berman’s friendship with the late poet Eythan Klamka (1967– 2011), Sound Poetry builds on Klamka’s notion that “any good musician is a sound poet,” and seeks to explore the intersection between musical and poetic lyricism. Berman draws inspiration from a range of diverse sources: Zen practitioner Thich Nhat Hanh, W.B. Yeats, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, George Gershwin, Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, Lester Young, Billy Strayhorn, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, and Bill Frisell—all of whose unique contributions continue to be guideposts and indicate the realm of possibility in improvisatory art.
Music Faculty, UC Berkeley
Ken Berman studied piano and composition at the Berklee College of Music, and later with legendary jazz mentors Barry Harris and Charlie Banacos. He has appeared on the stages of Carnegie Recital Hall, Yoshi’s, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Fox Theater in Detroit, and The Sunside in Paris.
Music Faculty, Jazzschool
Kai Eckhardt is a Liberian-German bassist and composer known for his pioneering work in the John McLaughlin Trio and the band Garaj Mahal. He has also worked with Trilok Gurtu, Stanley Clarke, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, and Donald Byrd. He performs with his band, the Kai Eckhardt Zeitgeist.
Akira Tana studied percussion at the New England Conservatory of Music. He has worked with Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, and Van Dyke Parks.
Free and open to the public