Pablo Luis Cardenas is one of the best Cuban pianists of his generation, his versatility and high technical preparation make his music very rich and full of different influences from Afro-cuban, Latin Jazz to Fusion, Jazz, Classical. (Submitted photo)

Video: Seven personalities provide a ride in Pianorama 2

Pianorama 2 is Sunday, Sept. 24 at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre in Oak Bay

Big names tickle the ivories in a bid to slam the lid on a yearlong campaign to purchase a piano for the Dave Dunnet theatre.

The Keys to Our Success campaign for a quality concert piano kicked off a year ago with Pianorama.

“Since then, through seat sponsorship and other events and donations, we’ve got up to almost $70,000 and have made two down payments toward the $100,000 piano,” said organizer Joseph Blake. “With this concert and one big donation we hope to announce at the Panorama 2, we’ve succeeded, we’re done.”

Panorama 2 features seven players with seven personalities running the spectrum of musical styles.

“All the pianists give their time and talent and they’re big names in Victoria,” Blake said. “It’s really interesting to hear seven different styles and personalities coming through the same piano. Each of these people bring their own personality to the piano, and most of them are bringing a different form.”

They include international classic pianist, Arthur Rowe, piano professor at UVic and artistic director of the Victoria Summer Music Festival.

“He’s a great pianist and played at the first one, he was first off the mark at Panorama 1 and set the tone,” Blake said. “It really was amazing. This one I think will be as good if not better.”

Other players include Brent Jarvis, Jan Sterling, Toni Blodgett, Niels Petersen, Pablo Cardenas and Ivan Elieff.

Elieff began playing piano when he started elementary school and since, his musical pursuits have, at various times, been either full or part time, but constant. Ivan has also had overlap in his music and legal careers, playing in lawyer groups, supporting Lawyers On Stage Theatre, and as a founding director of UJAMS.

“He’s just amazing. He will blow minds. He’s not heard that often. Not all these guys get solo opportunities often,” Blake said.

The organizer describes the evening as if it were a ride. We start with the classical realm of Rowe with a shift to blues and country rock with Petersen.

Blodgett swings into the jazz and ragtime leading into three other jazz pianists from traditional swing to bebop.

“These guys are showcasing their personalities and it’s highly unusual, but it’s really wonderful. They’re showing off, they’re really having fun,” Blake said.

He can’t help reflect back to last year’s surprise finish Michael Kaeshammer – still the talk of the town.

All will play the Steinway seven-foot grand piano that lives at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, with a scant few payments left to claim ownership.

“It is going to be a great program and I hope a full house,” Blake said.

It has been a year since Pianorama 1 and our launch to raise $100,000 to buy a concert grand piano for the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. We’ve raised about $70,000 and hope to celebrate the conclusion of our fundraising efforts at Pianorama 2.

Like the first concert, it features seven local pianists playing different forms of solo piano music from classical to traditional jazz blues, country and rock to bebop and contemporary jazz and Latin jazz.

While the Steinway 7-foot concert grand lives at Dave Dunnet theatre, Blake wants to see the campaign wrap with a bang. Pianorama 2 is Sunday, Sept. 24 at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High (2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.)

“Parking is always a problem on Sunday,” Blake said, suggesting concert-goers head for parking behind the school and adjacent to the recreation centre off Goldsmith Avenue.

Tickets are $25 in advance at Scotiabank in Oak Bay, Oak Bay Recreation Centre and Oak Bay High. They’re $30 at the door.


 

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cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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Ivan began playing piano when he started elementary school, and completed the Royal Conservatory program to Grade 9. He then studied jazz piano with Tony Genge at St. Francis Xavier University. Ivan’s experience during school and since includes 5 years touring in a rock band, playing covers and original music; teaching; appearances on regional television shows; studio session work; work as a sideman in a variety of groups ranging from jazz singers and instrumental groups to blues and rock bands; solo jazz piano, including 5 years in the rotation at Lure (when it was still a piano bar); theatre sound design; and jingle writing. Ivan’s musical pursuits have, at various times, been either full or part time, but constant. Ivan has also had overlap in his music and legal careers, playing in lawyer groups, supporting Lawyers On Stage Theatre, and as a founding director of UJAMS. (Don Craig | Government Communications)

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