The Gilmore

The Gilmore Keyboard Festival Soundboard

Are you enjoying the Keyboard Festival? What shows have you seen? What shows are you most looking forward to? We’d love to hear your feedback!

  • Eric

    I attended the Monday Kalamazoo show at the Civic, and Christian Sands really delivered. I was an instant fan after seeing him steal the show when playing with Christian McBride and Inside Straight, and I was excited to see him return to Kalamazoo.

    It was a fun set – it’s not often you’re going to hear a Willy Wonka/Coldplay mashup – and his personality really shines through his performance.

    Other highlights: he gave us a sneak peek of a piece he was working on, a song heavily influenced by Native American and India music. He also hid a Flintstones riff in one of the songs mid-set!

    Fantastic show, really hope he returns to Kalamazoo!

  • Denise

    Ditto what Eric said! Christian Sands did not disappoint-his command of the piano was absolutely mesmerizing. He displayed such diversity, from jazz and swing to tender ballad to whimsical melodies. And he was such a gracious gentleman to meet afterwards. I hope to see him again in future festivals!

  • Brandy

    Christian Sands is a completely lovable character. His personality shines through everything he does. I always love when a musicians energy is contagious and I found this performance to be just that!

    The Willy Wonka / Coldplay mashup was DEFINITELY the highlight of the performance for me. He took two very incredible songs, deconstructed them, and put them back together wonderfully. Also, did anyone else catch the Flintstones theme song?!?!

    Christian,loved having you for Fontana’s season last year with Christian McBride, LOVED you this year, and hoping to have you back again!

  • Betty Wezensky

    Sands was innovative, playful, and just plain cool! He delighted us. However, the sound system can be lowered a bit.

  • Eric

    I have to admit, I was going in a bit blind with Antony de Mare. I’m not well-versed in the world of Sondheim, but this sounded like an interesting concept.

    At the open, the audience was cautioned about a simulated gunshot in one of the pieces – that most certainly got my attention! I had difficulty getting into the show at first, but I think both the audience and de Mare warmed up to the material by the end.

    The highlight was definitely the aforementioned “gunshot” piece, Michael Daugherty’s “Everybody’s Got the Right” – a tribute to “Hail to the Chief”. To conclude the piece, de Mare grabbed a cap gun from inside the piano and fired off a “round” at the audience.

    (Even though you knew it was coming, it was still a loud BANG!)

    Looking forward to the second performance on May 2!

  • Betty D. Wezensky

    Aaron Diehl at Kellogg Foundation was not a delight to listen to compared to Christian Sands. I found him to be much too dissonant and rather redundant. How many times do we have to hear the same chord over and over again. And the sound is in “in your face.” Whereas Sands was innovative, surprising and playful as well as accomplished. He brought us into his sound–very intimate.
    Aaron was given quite a writeup (Wynton Marsalis) as are most contemporary jazz artists, but I find them playing the discord and mayhem of the times. I’m in it daily and really would like to relax and laugh with a Sands. So we don’t go to most of the Gilmore Jazz Festival venues. And what happened with Diana Krall!
    Tickets sold out before I could peruse my events calendar.

  • May Aihua Ye

    That was *the* most phenomenal concert of my life. Breathtaking, mesmerizing, out of this world. Unbelievavle performance. You stole my heart. Morgenstern trio, you are a true inspiration.

  • Carol

    Luis Resto, I’m a fan! It’s going to be hard to wait two years for another Gilmore Festival Noon Series.

  • Wade Kapik

    My wife and I have attended each of the Gilmore festivals since the festival’s inception. We love the festival and the artists we are able to see. We appreciate the time and energy invested by the many volunteers. The Master Classes are amazing. But, having attended all six shows (Gaspar, Rodriguez, Allen) of the jazz concerts at the Williams Theatre on the WMU campus this year, I have noticed:

    1. The balcony is a dangerous place. I have seen three people tumble and fall after failing to observe one or the other of the steps that protrude into the walkway for the first row. One of the three people is a colleague of mine. Two additional people stumbled as they hit the step but managed to stay on their feet. It appears that someone has decided midway through the festival to leave the lights on, and this helps somewhat. The steps are a design flaw that WMU should have noticed long ago.

    2. Since my wife and I have have knees of jello, we take the elevator from the first floor (left of the ticket office) to the third floor (balcony landing). We have not once been asked for our tickets for the six shows. Rarely do we even see staff or volunteers in the area, though as we peer over the handrail from our front row seats we see staff scurrying everywhere on the main floor. It would not be impossible to forgo buying tickets and sneaking into the balcony undetected.

    3. The venue is not being cleaned between shows. After we left the Rodriguez show Saturday night, we observed the audience members from the second of the three rows in the balcony left a mess: paper plates, crushed saltines, liquid spills, etc., littered the row. It was all there the following afternoon when we arrived for the first Allen show.

    4. I find that year after year at this Jazz Club, it is the drummers we are celebrating, not the pianists. The drummers almost universally overwhelm the other instrumentalists. I sympathize with anyone on the main floor seated at a table on the drummer’s side of the room. (Which is one reason why we prefer the balcony, because we figure we have some chance at hearing a balanced sound image from where we sit. Maybe.)

    5. Each of the six shows have started at least ten minutes late, and from our perspective, it seems due to the audience being tardy getting seated on the main floor.

  • Wade Kapik

    Attended and loved the Emanuel Ax concert at Chenery Auditorium Tuesday night. It’s a lovely venue and Ax was virtuosic. Enlisting Mrs. Sarkozy to bake her cookies for the intermissions at Chenery concerts was genius. Though, I have to admit, I was completely surprised to read in the Program Notes who was sponsoring the concert. That was a name I thought I never see again in these parts. (I wondered if that was why there was no public acknowledgment of the sponsor by the female announcer just prior to the start of the concert? I thought it peculiar, since the concert sponsors have been noted and applauded everywhere else during the festival.)

  • Wade Kapik

    The Brad Mehldau Trio’s two shows Thursday night were simply amazing. And we were pleased to see that someone (Gilmore staff/WMU staff) had put masking tape on the steps in the Williams Theatre balcony, making the steps easier to see and navigate in dim light. And the volunteers nabbed several of us who had come up the elevator, to make certain we had tickets. The drama that played out in front of us between the early and late shows was intriguing – the man who tuned the piano came and went, and then Mehldau came out as audience members were being seated for the late show. He sat at the piano and began pressing keys, and we could all tell he was displeased with tunings of several of the piano keys. We figured that Mehldau had noticed things out of tune as he played the early show, and upon checking later during the break, had discovered the problems had not been corrected. We wondered why the tuner had not spoken to the artist between shows to get his feedback, and why no one called the tuner back to the building to address Mehldau’s concerns. Of course we could not hear any conversation between Mehldau and the short man who seemed to be his assistant, but their gestures and Mehldau’s continued repetitive playing of several keys were suggestive. The Jazz Club was a hit with us this year, the host of the shows was gracious, and the range of artists was incredible. To imagine that we have been able to attract an artist like Mehldau in 2000, 2008, and again in 2012 is impressive.

  • G. Benvenuto

    Simply, the best musical experience I have had the pleasure of attending. I would love to see them come to Windsor Ontario or even the Detroit Metro area. I am positive they would fill these venues to capacity.
    Just exquisite.
    G. Benvenuto

  • David Strauss

    Splendid concert, but where does Diehl sell his cds?

  • donna Lou Ritter

    Could you put on-line an archive of the artists we have heard in the Rising Star seasons over the years? Often when I hear the name of an “up and coming” young pianist, I wonder if we have heard them. We heard Lang Lang before he really made it big. (I don’t understand why that hasn’t been mentioned in the publicity for his up-coming appearance with the Symphony, by the way) I’d like to be able to go back through the list and review those who have played here. The same goes for Gilmore Artists and Young Artists. Can we have an archive section on the website?

  • dawnhoke

    Thank you, Ms. Ritter, for your comment about past Rising Stars. If you look at our Rising Stars Series page [], at the very bottom there is a link (in orange) to open or download a list of past Rising Stars. The document is a PDF.

    As for the Gilmore Artists and Gilmore Young Artists, all of their names and photos appears on the Gilmore Artist and Gilmore Young Artist pages. All 6 of the Gilmore Artists appear on one page, and all 28 Gilmore Young Artists appear on a total of 3 pages.

    Yes, Lang Lang is one of several pianists who performed here before making it “big.” Thank you again for your comments. We appreciate your interest in The Gilmore and the young pianists we feature.