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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. He played for the highest levels of the U.S. government and military and performed on United Service Organization (USO) tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as State Department sponsored musical diplomacy tours to Russia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Nalker has also composed several works for various settings, including a commission by The National Gallery of Art for a children’s multimedia work about Henri Matisse and a musical adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. He is the pianist for Hal Leonard Publishing’s Jazz Play-Along series which has produced nearly 200 CDs/books. He received his undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa.
ROBERT LARSON serves as the director of jazz studies at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He holds degrees from Eastern Washington University, the University of Oregon and Shenandoah Conservatory. He teaches courses in jazz history, jazz improvisation, jazz arranging, jazz and traditional music theory, jazz repertoire and jazz pedagogy. He conducted the Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble from 1987 to 2000, and during that time the ensemble performed with prominent guest artists and toured China, Japan, Spain, France and Iceland. His book, Arranging for the Small Jazz Ensemble (Armfield Academic Press) is used in jazz arranging courses throughout the United States. He has published articles in the College Music Society Symposium, Music Educators Journal, Virginia Music Educators Association Journal and International Association of Jazz Educators Papers. Larson has presented at jazz education conferences on the early recordings of Bill Evans, critical listening and arranging techniques.
Dr. Larson released his CD Popular Delusions in 2016, and it has received extensive nationwide radio play. He can also be heard on recordings with the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra featuring Doc Severinsen. He performs with his own trio, and is an in-demand sideman in the Washington, D.C. region. 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 University.
Photos by Shenandoah University’s Office of Marketing and Communications and courtesy of artists