One of the top jazz pianists of the past half-century and an eclectic improviser who has long had his own sound and open-minded style, Kellaway has been featured on hundreds of recordings and written a countless amount of music since the 1960s. As is obvious from his most recent recording, New Jazz Standards, Kellaway has lost none of his creativity, virtuosity, enthusiasm or willingness to stretch himself.
When asked what material his trio might be performing at Birdland, Kellaway said “It will be a journey through the melodies of my life…Alfie’s Theme (which he recorded with Sonny Rollins in 1965), a few songs from his Oscar Peterson tribute album Heroes (which won the French Classic Jazz award), two tunes from Carl Saunders New Jazz Standards Vol 3, and a few brand new original compositions.
At the same time that the Roger Kellaway Trio will be performing at the Birdland Theater downstairs, the Birdland Jazz Club upstairs will be hosting the Django Festival (November 12-17) celebrating their 20th anniversary with the Django Festival Allstars, produced by Pat Philips Stratta. “They always have a guest each night, so for the two nights that I’m at Birdland, I will also be their special guest. And some of their Allstars, such as violinist Pierre Blanchard and accordionist Ludovic Beier, will join me downstairs as my special guests!”
Kellaway has performed on hundreds of jazz recordings. A few of his personal favorites are Wes Montgomery’s Bumpin, Oliver Nelson’s More Blues And The Abstract Truth, and The Power Of Positive Swinging with Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer”. Beyond jazz, he has worked as a musical director for Bobby Darin & Tony Bennett. As composer, he has 29 film scores to his name and wrote the well-known closing theme song for All In The Family (“Remembering You”). He’s worked with everyone from Ellington to Elvis, Carmen McRae to Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchel and Quincy Jones to Yo-Yo Ma.
“I’ve always liked playing Birdland, I performed at the original one on 52nd and Broadway with Kai Winding’s band when I was in my early twenties. I’ve known Gianni Valenti, the present owner for about 20 years, and I am delighted to be celebrating my 80thwith my trio in the new Birdland Theater!”
The remarkable pianist/composer will be in typically inspired and inventive form during his two special nights at the Birdland Theater November 15 & 16. For more information about the historic engagement www.birdlandjazz.com and www.rogerkellaway.com