On Tuesday (Sept. 18), the Arizona Senior Academy welcomes back jazz pianist Angelo Versace and trumpeter Jason Carder. It is never hyperbole to speak of the thrilling virtuosity of these musicians.
The two both studied music at the University of Miami, and when he first played with Carder, Versace said it was clear this piano-trumpet duo held some real musical magic.
Versace says he finds in Carder a kindred musical spirit, a spirit which is evident in their duo jazz performances. One must hear them together to appreciate their many qualities.
In addition to his teaching duties and role as director of Jazz Studies at the University of Arizona, Versace stays busy as a performer, composer, arranger, and producer. From 2009-2013 Versace held the piano chair in the Mancini Institute Orchestra, a “multi-genre ‘cross-over’ orchestra.
Carder is an assistant professor of trumpet at UA and director of the UA Jazz Ensemble that performed at the ASA in the spring. He grew up in Arizona and studied music at Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Miami. He tours extensively as the trumpet soloist with Yanni. He has toured globally and his talent appears in over 80 recorded albums.
Together, Versace and Carder promise an unpredictably absorbing jazz performance. In last year’s performance at the ASA, the pair brought a spine-tingling program of Gershwin. This year they promise an eclectic program across jazz styles, to include works by Henry Mancini, Antonio Carlos, and Mulgrew Miller.
As with any really good jazz duo, you never know quite where it’s going to go. Wherever that is, you can be assured that it will leave you exhilarated, as these musicians are among the finest jazz players alive.
Written by John Evans, Academy Village Volunteer