Storm Large & Kirill Gerstein

Storm Large and Kirill Gerstein

Thursday, May 8
6:30 PM & 9:00 PM

Williams Theatre
Kalamazoo

SOLD OUT

Reserved table seating in a jazz club setting. Beverages available for purchase in the lobby.

They first met at the 2012 Gilmore Festival in an impromptu on-stage performance during the Pink Martini concert. They connected again in Portland, Oregon, when Kirill Gerstein was performing with the Portland Symphony and Pink Martini vocalist Storm Large surprised the audience by joining Gerstein onstage to perform Gershwin’s Summertime as an encore. The performance brought the house down and convinced Large and Gerstein that they needed to perform together again. This Festival Jazz Club will be their first full concert appearance together.

Storm Large

Storm Large

Storm Large has been singing since the age of five. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Large moved to San Francisco and later to Portland, where she founded her band Storm and The Balls. The Balls developed a cult-like following in clubs for their “mash up” renditions of artists such as ABBA, Billy Idol, Led Zeppelin and Olivia Newton-John as well as their own compositions. Large gained national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova. Large wrote and performed her autobiographical musical memoir Crazy Enough in Portland, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Joe’s Pub in New York and throughout Australia. Simon & Schuster published a book version of Crazy Enough in November 2012. Large made her orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 2010. Large began performing with Pink Martini in March 2011, when China Forbes took a leave of absence to undergo surgery on her vocal chords. Forbes made full recovery and both she and Large continue to perform with Pink Martini. Large now lives in Oregon and tours occasionally with the band, with whom Large appeared at the 2012 Festival.

Kirill Gerstein

Kirill Gerstein

The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has developed into one of today’s most versatile musicians. His early training and experience in jazz has contributed an important element to his interpretive style, inspiring an energetic and expressive musical personality that distinguishes his playing.

Since receiving the Gilmore Artist Award in 2010, Gerstein has shared his prize through the commissioning of boundary crossing new works by Oliver Knussen, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau and Timothy Andres, with additional commissions scheduled for future seasons. His current season includes the premiere of the new work he commissioned by Timo Andres titled, “Old Friend.”

This season Gerstein’s North American appearances included his debut with the Cincinnati Symphony conducted by Louis Langree and return appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Detroit, Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis and Toledo symphonies among others.

Gerstein was awarded First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and a 2010 Avery Fisher Grant. A native of Voronezh, Russia, Gerstein came to the U.S. at the age of 14 as the youngest student accepted into Berklee College of Music’s jazz program. Eventually, Gerstein focused on classical music, completing degrees at the Manhattan School of Music.

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