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  • Taylor Eigsti / Julian Lage Duo

     

    “A set of duets as electrifying and virtuosic as it was mature.”

    – Bob Young, The Boston Herald

     

    “Bravely deconstructing standards…and exploring their thrilling originals in a tight-knit tandem.”
    – Chad Berndtson, The Patriot Ledger

     

    “These kids deserved gold stars – both for their chops and for playing well with others.”
    – Bill Beuttler, The Boston Globe

     

     

    The TAYLOR EIGSTI / JULIAN LAGE DUO has begun to accumulate much critical acclaim for their ability to work as a mature, cohesive unit, performing a wide range of exiting new arrangements of jazz standards, to originals, co-authored originals, and adventurous takes on many Brazilian songs and music from other genres. The two started their musical relationship and great friendship at an early age, and are constantly challenging each other and to find new ways to stretch musically, bringing a tangible combination of synergy, spontaneity, and musical discovery to every performance. Already this young unit has performed to glowing reviews at the Newport Jazz Festival; Symphony Hall in Boston; the Ouro Preto Jazz Festival in a Brazilian tour that also included performances in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; the Berks Jazz Festival; the San Francisco Jazz Festival; and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival.

     

    TAYLOR EIGSTI

     

    With five albums to his credit, and an array of live performances on his resume with such top-notch jazz figures as Dave Brubeck, James Moody, and Ernestine Anderson, 2-time GRAMMY nominee Taylor Eigsti is no rookie in the music world. Eigsti's sound is rooted in jazz history, but incorporates the progressive jazz sound of the 21st century. Eigsti's prodigious technique and unique rhythmic intensity is matched by his sensitivity and maturity on the keyboard.

     

    On his newest album, "Lucky to Be Me", Eigsti frames himself with two world-class rhythm teams: bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash on six songs, and bassist James Genus and drummer Billy Kilson on another four. Julian Lage appears on four tracks on guitar.

     

    The most recent album has garnered much acclaim since its March 2006 release, including peaking at #7 on the National Jazz Radio Airplay charts, after being on the chart for 23 weeks, ending the year as the #15 most played jazz album on the radio. Eigsti was also featured in many of the "Top 10 best CDs of 2006" lists compiled by JazzWeek. In November, Eigsti was featured on the cover of Jazziz magazine, one month after Eigsti was selected in the 2006 Downbeat Critics poll for in the "Rising Star Piano" category. The following month, Eigsti was nominated for two GRAMMY awards - one for Best Jazz Solo Performance for his improvisation on "Freedom Jazz Dance", and another nomination for Best Instrumental Composition, for his song "Argument". The fellow nominees in both of these categories includes Roy Haynes, Paquito D'Rivera, Branford Marsalis, John Williams, Fred Hersch, Patrick Williams, and the late Michael Brecker, who has always been an influence and an great inspiration for Eigsti.

     

    Eigsti became devoted to the piano after the death of his sister, Shannon, a talented pianist who succumbed to cancer when he was just three. He began playing a year later, and at eight, he opened for his friend and mentor, jazz pianist David Benoit. At 12, Eigsti shared the stage with Diane Schuur, Dave Brubeck, and opened for Diana Krall and Al Jarreau. Other artists that Eigsti has worked with include Patti Austin, Frederica Von Stade, Sylvia McNair, Johnny Frigo, Keter Betts, Peter Bernstein, Bobby Hutcherson, Red Holloway, and Kevin Mahogany, Alan Broadbent, Anton Schwartz, Kitty Margolis, Madeline Eastman, and many more musicians in various settings.

     

    Eigsti has had much exposure on various radio and television programs, has been the featured guest twice on Marian McPartland's award-winning NPR program Piano Jazz. Recently, he can also be seen in several BET concert specials filmed last summer. Eigsti's working quartet includes Reuben Rogers on bass, Eric Harland on drums, and Julian Lage on guitar, all of whom will be on a new recording that is currently in the works and set for release later this year.

     

    JULIAN LAGE

     

    Herbie Hancock: "Julian, you play with heart, mind, and soul. Where’d you find all this so early in life?"

     

    David Grisman: "I was amazed by the depth of his playing, he’s a real improviser who just goes with the flow. He’s not about anything other than making a beautiful musical statement.”

     

    Gary Burton: "We had to do various takes on different tunes, and it struck me how none of his solos were alike. He was constantly inventive but without a need to show off. His way of proving himself is not by being flashy, but by discovering the meaning in the music."

     

    At every stage in his growth, those most qualified to judge Julian Lage have given passing notice to his blazing technique, his passion for excellence, and even his youth. But they usually save their highest accolades for his musical wisdom, sophistication and wit, which they find even more remarkable than his skill on the guitar.

     

    Still not twenty years old, but with over a decade performing as a professional, Lage has found ways to nourish his aptitudes and keep his passion alive throughout a long, demanding conservatory education, and a great deal of attention from the media. Though he showed promise quite early, Julian instinctively avoided the temptation to become a narrow technical performer on guitar. Educated in Western classical music at the San Francisco Conservatory and Sonoma State University, Julian listened to jazz on his own. He developed improvisational skill in parallel with his classical musical education, studying at Ali Akbar College of Music in California and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

     

    In a recent chapter of the story, Julian has been playing and composing for vibraphonist Gary Burton’s Generations band. This ongoing collaboration has produced great performances on tour and in the studio, several original compositions by Julian, and two successful cd’s with the Generations band.

     

    Rapidly outgrowing the acclaim and curiosity that follow childhood prodigies, and taking his place as an accomplished artist with a long career ahead, Julian Lage now looks at his future from the front rank of performers of his generation--a composer, guitarist, and buoyant spirit who delights and inspires musicians and fans alike.

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