February 27 @ 7:30 PM| Free
Jazz pianists Robert Larson and Tony Nalker perform a free recital showcasing music for jazz piano.
Meet the Artists
TONY NALKER performs widely in Washington, D.C., currently serving as jazz pianist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra Pops. From 1989 to 2016, Nalker was the pianist of the premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Army, the Army Blues, and served as the group’s enlisted leader. Nalker played for the highest levels of the U.S. government and military and performed on USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also toured on musical diplomacy missions throughout the world on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Since 2005, Nalker has served as pianist of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, performing throughout the country to share the Smithsonian’s collection of iconic jazz works with the American public. Since 2012, he has also performed with the National, Maryland, and Baltimore symphonies.
Over the past twenty-five years, Nalker has performed with many artists across a multitude of musical genres. He has also performed on hundreds of recordings in a variety of styles including jazz, folk, children’s music, pop, Broadway, and country. He is also the pianist for Hal Leonard Publishing’s Jazz Play-Along series which has produced nearly 200 instructional books with CDs and for Alfred Publishing’s Jazz Play-Along and big band series. His numerous compositions and arrangements range from works for big band and smaller jazz ensembles to theater, dance, and film. He received his undergraduate degree in music from James Madison University and his Master of Arts in Music from the University of Iowa.
ROBERT LARSON joined the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory in 1982. He is the Director of Jazz Studies and has served three terms as chair of the Instrumental Division. He holds degrees from Eastern Washington University, the University of Oregon, and Shenandoah Conservatory. He conducted the Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble from 1987 to 2000, and during that time the ensemble performed with guest artists such as Randy Brecker, Billy Taylor, Bob Berg, Conrad Herwig, Allen Vizzutti, Vince DiMartino, Chris Vadala, and many others. The ensemble performed in China, Japan, Spain, France, and Iceland as well as throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Larson teaches courses in jazz history, jazz improvisation, jazz repertoire, jazz pedagogy, and private jazz piano instruction. His book, Arranging for the Small Jazz Ensemble (Armfield Academic Press) has received glowing reviews from jazz educators and students across the country and internationally. He has published articles in the Music Educators Journal, the Virginia Music Educators Association Journal, and the International Association of Jazz Educators Papers. Larson has presented at conferences for the Jazz Educators Network, the National Jazz Workshop, and for the National Association of Jazz Educators on the early recordings of Bill Evans. He has provided clinics throughout the region and adjudicated at many jazz festivals and competitions.
Larson has recently recorded and released his first CD under his own name, Popular Delusions, and can be heard on two recordings with the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra: Two Seconds to Midnight and Primetime featuring Doc Severinsen. He performs with his own trio, with the Capitol Bones, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and many others. Larson has served on the touring panel for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the board of First Night Winchester, and is the host of the National Jazz Workshop at Shenandoah Conservatory.
Photos by Shenandoah University’s Office of Marketing and Communications and courtesy of artists