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Peninsula Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Three Eras of Jazz and Symphonic Synergy This Weekend

Peninsula Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Three Eras of Jazz and Symphonic Synergy This Weekend

With a signature flair for programming and a nod to three of history's great jazz artists who are equally at home in the symphonic scene, Music Director and conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein has programmed an evening of music by Bay Area composer/pianist Taylor Eigsti and his artistic predecessors Dave Brubeck and George Gershwin in two performances tonight and tomorrow, January 17 and 18.

The program includes the world premieres of new works by Bay Area native and internationally recognized jazz artist Taylor Eigsti along with Eigsti performing Gershwin's game-changing Rhapsody in Blue and a special tribute to late Bay Area composer/pianist and jazz innovator Dave Brubeck in works to be announced featuring Eigsti and saxophonist Dayna Stephens. Rounding out the evening will be Gershwin's overtures to Girl Crazy and Strike Up the Band.

The concert will be given tonight, Janaury 17, at 8 pm at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center and Saturday, January 18, at 8 pm at Flint Center/DeAnza College. For information and tickets, visit www.peninsulasymphony.org

Tickets are priced $20-$40 and may be purchased at www.peninsulasymphony.org or by calling 650-941-5291 to place your order.

About The Guest Artists:

New York-based, Bay Area native pianist and composer Taylor Eigsti started playing the piano when he was four years old, inspired by his sister Shannon, a jazz and rock pianist, and he was mentored from an early age by Dave Brubeck. His musical journey since has been filled with many exciting opportunities to grow as a musician, artist, and educator. Becoming a bandleader at age 12, Eigsti was quickly labeled a prodigy, and released four early albums as a leader before having the opportunity to sign with Concord Records, where he has released three highly acclaimed albums. Eigsti has been recognized by critics internationally for his unique touch and rhythmic control, and his innovative improvisational storytelling.

The past few years have been especially exciting for the 28-year old California native. Eigsti released Lucky to Be Me in 2006, which was nominated for two Grammy awards for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Instrumental Jazz Solo. Building on the momentum of the previous record, Eigsti was featured on the cover of both Keyboard Magazine and Jazziz Magazine, and was featured in his own BET Television special. Eigsti then released Let it Come to You (Concord) 2008, quickly garnering many four-star reviews from such publications asDownbeat Magazine and All Music Guide, and went to #2 in National Jazz Radio Airplay. This album also featured Eigsti's original visual art within the packaging. Eigsti has also been featured on many radio shows, including appearing on Marian McPartland's award-winning NPR program "PianoJazz" on several occasions.

Internationally renowned saxophonist/composer/educator Dayna Stephens is a force to watch out for. A fluid, vigorous soloist with a warm, soulful sound, Dayna has also proven himself a master of composition and arrangement, a highly acclaimed band leader and an in-demand side-man for some of Jazz's contemporary masters, such as Kenny Barron, Idris Mohammed and Taylor Eigsti. His debut album The Timeless Now, released on Contagious Music in 2007, features jazz legends John Scofield, Taylor Eigsti, Ben Street, Eric Harland and Nick Vayenas. The record was immediately embraced by the jazz community and resulted in heavy radio airplay across the US. It received warm reviews from a number of magazines, including a four-star review in the Nov 2007 issue of Downbeat, and climbed to #11 on the Billboard jazz charts, #9 on JazzWeek and NPR top-10 Jazz Jewels of 2007.

Stephens was born in Brooklyn, New York, August 1st, 1978, and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He showed serious talent early on, winning many awards and scholarships to various music programs, while attending the prestigious Berkeley High School. He then proceeded to the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full scholarship. Following his graduation, he was selected by judges Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard for the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC where he studied and played with, among others, Shorter, Hancock, Dave Holland, John Scofield and Mark Turner.

ABOUT PENINSULA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Peninsula Symphony Orchestra began in 1949, when two distinct musical ensembles--the Sequoia Symphony & the Peninsula Symphony--and one conductor, Russian-born violinist/conductor Aaron Sten, joined forces. In 1951, under Vincent Guida, symphony clarinetist and business manager, the organization was incorporated as a non-profit association, and a formal board was chosen. With the arrival of current conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein, the Peninsula Symphony grew from a grassroots ensemble to a polished 90-plus member orchestra of well-trained community musicians. The Peninsula Youth Orchestra was established in the spring of 1997, with Mitchell Sardou Klein serving as the Music Director. Today, Peninsula Symphony Orchestra works to enrich the lives of people in the community with inspiring, innovative, high-quality musical presentations at affordable prices, and to promote music education through engaging programs for children and adults.

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