Emily Bear premiered at the Ravinia Festival at the age of 5 (!) and since then has composed more than 350 pieces for the piano. She has recorded six albums, performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and worked closely with her mentor, music legend Quincy Jones. Now, at just 14 years of age, Bear debuts at the Festival with her trio. She gives new meaning to the term “prodigy!”
She appears at the Festival with bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Mark McLean.
At age 14, pianist/composer/arranger Emily Bear is one of the most astonishing and prolific musical talents of our time – composing, orchestrating, and performing in an astonishingly (remarkable) diverse collection of styles. She has performed at many of the world’s most famous venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Ravinia, and the Hollywood Bowl, among others. Her sold-out concerts have taken her across the U. S. and Europe – from palaces in Vienna to stadiums in Japan and Korea. Her love for all musical styles runs from classical to jazz and everything in-between. Whether before a crowd of 15,000 at Art On Ice in Zurich or an intimate concert at The Blue Note in NYC – Emily’s rare ability to inhabit a composers style or to touch emotions with her original melodies has inspired people worldwide.
At 6 years of age, Emily was the the youngest recipient to ever receive the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. She established herself as a classical artist performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto, no. 23 K488 at the age of 7, followed by the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor and most recently, Rhapsody In Blue by Gershwin, which she performed with several orchestra’s this fall across the U.S. and Canada. She premiered several new orchestral works this year that she composed and orchestrated to critical acclaim. Her love for jazz has taken her from the famous hall of the Montreux Jazz Festival to Blue Note Tokyo, Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Blue Note in NYC – where she recently premiered original music she composed for Big Band Jazz Orchestra.
One of the most dynamic and versatile studio and touring drummers in the jazz, R&B and pop realms over the past 15 years, Mark McLean had a single criterion when it came time to expand his horizons beyond the groove and record his long awaited breakout as a powerhouse composer and lyricist: it had to Feel Alright.
In an industry that often prefers pigeonholing to expansive creative expression, the multi-talented artist — whose credo is “I don’t want to be seen as a drummer, I want to be known as a musician whose instrument just happens to be drums” — breaks all the rules on this eclectic 11 track set, sharing his love for everything from old school soul, down and dirty blues/funk and traditional jazz to Southern folk-pop with a zydeco twist, Rat Pack-like swing, edgy pop/rock and New Orleans brass band music.
While a complete one-eighty in vibe and vision, Feel Alright is the follow-up to McLean’s acclaimed 2010 indie recording Playground, an all-instrumental showcase for his band of the same name whose tracks earned significant airplay on both traditional jazz and urban jazz stations. The new album is produced by Grammy winning engineer and producer Steve Bigas, well known for his previous work with Taj Mahal and Ziggy Marley and for his long association with Daniel Lanois.
Peter Slavov is a New York-based Bulgarian double bassist, composer, session musician, arranger and educator. Since he started performing professionally in the mid-1990’s, Peter has performed at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals in more than 30 countries on 5 continents. Born to the family of legendary Bulgarian drummer Peter Slavov Sr., Peter (sometimes credited as Petar) has been playing bass since the age of twelve.
While studying classical music at the Pipkov Music School in Sofia, Peter discovered American jazz and soon became the busiest bassist on the scene in Bulgaria, playing with the country’s finest musicians and touring Europe extensively. In 1998 Peter received a scholarship from Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music, and in 1999 moved to Boston to attend Berklee. In 2001, he was awarded the Berklee Bass Department’s John Neves Memorial Scholarship Award for Outstanding Musicianship, as well as a full scholarship.
After graduating from Berklee in 2002, Peter Slavov has performed and/or recorded with world-renowned artists, such as: Joe Lovano, Quincy Jones, George Garzone, Danilo Perez, Sophie Milman, Kevin Mahogany, Simon Shaheen and Jamey Haddad, among many others. Peter is currently touring the world with Grammy award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano’s Us Five band. In 2012, Us Five received the Award for Best Small Group by the Jazz Journalists Association of America.