Chindamo & Black CD REIMAGININGS Released at Melbourne Recital Centre Today, 5/9
Joe Chindamo is a jazz pianist and an internationally acclaimed composer and arranger, and Zoe is a violinist. In each other they have found not only life partners, but also a unique musical partnership. They have collaborated on ReImaginings, a new CD that is both a collision of musical styles and a testament to their mutual musical respect.
The meeting of these two artists combines a number of musical worlds into a new genre that defies definition. The result is not crossover, but rather the product of two artists creating a musical dialogue with a combined language. What the audience hears is a violinist and a pianist, not a classical violinist and a jazz pianist.
The classical tracks sit comfortably alongside the country classic Jolene and two Chindamo originals (including Zoë, which Joe wrote for his partner).
“Re-Imaginings marks a significant departure from my previous work in that two thirds of the piano parts are completely composed, and as such, the project’s aesthetic has much more in common with classical music than with music of an improvisatory nature,” says Joe.
“However, unlike a strictly classical recording, where the performers are required to perform either established repertoire or works which have been especially commissioned for them, all the music except for Copland’s Nocturne is new in some sense or another.”
“There are seven reworked classical compositions, chosen for their beauty, universality and timelessness. The intention was never to alter these great works for the sake of altering them.”
Joe hasn’t given the classical works a jazz make-over: “When I do improvise, I am cautious not to disrupt the style and spirit of the work on which it is based. But on two occasions on this album, I have kept only the melodies and changed everything else.”
Here Joe refers to Chopin’s Prelude in E minor which takes on the form of a tango and Schumann’s Kinderszenen which is transformed into a mysterious and mournful dialogue between piano and violin.
“I have removed each work from its time capsule, thus allowing its essence to shine through a number of musical transformations,” says Joe.
“I wanted to keep Handel, but not his wig. I wanted Dolly, but not her twang. My aim was to demonstrate that music is music and genre is only packaging.”
Zoë is a valued member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and also plays an integral role in their educational touring program (with ACO 2), whose cause is to bring world-class music to regional Australia and indigenous communities.
As an established performer on the classical stage, Zoë’s usual world is one where musicians are judged by their interpretation of the notes and directions provided by the composer. ??
Recording Re-Imaginings with Joe has given her a sense of freedom in her performance that comes rarely for those that play on the classical stage: “For the first time, I felt at liberty to create a sound that comes purely from within, my very essence in every musical breath.”
Zoë says: “The boundaries between ‘jazz’ and ‘classical’ have never been less apparent than on this recording.”
The album launce will be held at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Salon today, May 9 at 6PM. Tickets are $35, concession $25 (transaction fees may apply). Tickets may be purchased by calling 03 9699 3333 or melbournerecital.com.au.
A man with an international reputation, Joe has performed concerts all over the world. Of particular note, at the Umbria Jazz Festival, The Tokyo Dome and The Lincoln Centre in New York. He also toured with US drummer Billy Cobham for over 10 years. Numerous of his recordings reached number 1 on the modern jazz charts in Japan. His formidable pianism has earned him admiration from amongst the classical elite.
In 2008 Joe was invited to perform 3 concerts in Italy by the classical pianist Michele Campanella, who was curator of a respected piano festival. In the same year, as a result of a recommendation by the formidable Nickolai Demidenko, piano maker Paolo Fazioli invited Joe to perform at his auditorium in Venice, a venue normally reserved for the likes of Angela Hewitt, Nickolai Demidenko and Aldo Ciccolini.
Back in Australia, Joe is routinely invited to perform at all the principal festivals, and a host of other venues ranging from house concerts to jazz clubs to the Sydney Opera House.
Amongst a plethora of awards, Joe has twice won the MO award for Jazz instrumental performer of the year, two Bell awards for best album and the APRA award for best jazz composition of the year in 2009 for Something Will Come To Light. Another of his compositions The Bermuda Tango (from the same album Duende - the Romantic Project) is currently being featured as the theme music for ABC National's book show.
Joe has recently been commissioned to compose and arrange for chamber ensembles such as the Freshwater Trio and the Seraphim Trio. An Australia Council Fellowship in 2003 facilitated his composing of a concerto for Accordion and Orchestra. He has recorded 18 CDs under his own name and collaborated on other recordings with distinguished artists such as James Morrison (James Morrison and Joe Chindamo 2X2), Ray Brown of Oscar Peterson Trio fame (The First Take), and the Brecker Brothers (Reflected Journey).
He has performed and recorded with Shirley Bassey, Anne Sophie von Otter, Ricky Lee Jones, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Yvonne Kenny and Olivia Newton John, and worked on over 60 film soundtracks, providing the piano work for iconic Australian movies such as Phar Lap, The Man From Snowy River II, Babe, and The Sound of One Hand Clapping.
Zoë was born in Melbourne and has won numerous awards including the National Youth Concerto Competition in 1989 and the string section of the ABC Young Performers Awards in 1991. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1992, Zoë was awarded grants from the Australia Council and Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Trust as well as the major performance award of the Australian Musical Foundation in London where she studied at the Guildhall School of Music under David Takeno, and subsequently at the Vienna Hochschule with Michael Schnitler.
Zoë has also studied and performed in Moscow and at Tanglewood; with the Juilliard, Guarneri and Takács Quartets; and in Israel with Shlomo Mintz. She has appeared as soloist with the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, playing concerti by Sibelius, Bach and Bartók. She played with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Wiener Kammerorchester before returning to Australia in 1996 to take up the position of Assistant Leader with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared as both Assistant and Guest Concertmaster with the TSO; with the MSO; and was the violinist in the Firebird Trio.
She has made numerous broadcasts on ABC radio, and regularly appears at Festivals around Australia and Internationally as chamber musician, most notably at Huntington Festival, Musica Viva and VancouverFest in Canada. Whilst still in high demand as orchestral (principally as a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra) and chamber musician, she now devotes her considerable gifts to special projects, especially her duo with Joe Chindamo.