Matt Herskowitz - Piano, Lyric Artist and Composer-in-Residence
David Rozenblatt - Percussion
Mat Fieldes - Bass
Sweet Plantaine String Quartet
- Eddie Venegas - Violin/Trombone
- Romulo Benavides - Violin
- Orlando Wells - Viola
- David Gotay - Cello
J.S. BACH, arr. MATT HERSKOWITZ
Bach à la Jazz (based on Prelude in C minor, WTC bk. 2)
Praeambulum from Partita in G Major
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN / DAVE BRUBECK
Prelude in D-flat Major, op. 28 no. 15 / Dzienkuye
Chorale and Variations on a Theme of Dave Brubeck
Chromatic Fantasy Sonata (inspired by J.S. Bach) :
- Allegro Molto
Undertow (based on Bach’s 3-part Invention no. 9 in F minor)
Artist and Composer-in-Residence
Hailed as “extraordinary high-octane keyboard virtuosity”, pianist Matt Herskowitz is a unique voice from within the nexus of classical and jazz traditions. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, Mr. Herskowitz’s performances have led to both Grammy and Oscar Award nominations. His performance with Absolute Ensemble, a New York-based crossover contemporary chamber band, helped earn a Grammy nomination for their first album, Absolution, which features Matt as both composer and soloist (2001, Enja Records). His jazz arrangement of a Bach prelude for the soundtrack of The Triplets of Belleville helped earn the animated film two Oscar nominations and a French César award for best soundtrack in 2003. His first solo recording, Gabriel's Message (2000, CCnC Records), features his original arrangements and compositions based on Christmas themes, and has received world-wide critical acclaim resulting in international invitations. In 2004, Mr. Herskowitz recorded a solo recital for BRAVO Arts Channel which features classical, jazz, and original work.
Mr. Herskowitz tours extensively throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S. He is a founding member of MaD Fusion - a progressive fusion ensemble. Their first CD, Forget Me Not (2005, Disques Tout Crin), received critical acclaim from European, U.S. and Canadian Jazz critics. After hearing the album, jazz-legend Dave Brubeck wrote: “Hearing such technique almost ruined my day. I said to myself, ‘I’d better quit now’.” MaD Fusion has performed at the Hamburg and Bremen International Music Festivals in Germany, at the Rhino Jazz Festival in France, at the Lyric Chamber Music Society in New York City, at the Luzerne Music Center Jazz Series in New York, and with the Philadelphia Piano Quartet on the Classic Chamber Concerts Series in Naples, Florida.
In addition to The Triplets of Belleville, Mr. Herskowitz's other film contributions also include a solo piano improvisation on the soundtrack of Robert Lepage’s La Face Cachée de la Lune. In 2001, Mr. Herskowitz scored a short avant-garde French film, one of six new scores written for 1930’s era silent French films. The music was performed live with the films at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater by Parabola, an ensemble specializing in new film and theater music. Other contributing composers included Carter Burwell and Stephen Endelman.
Mr. Herskowitz later worked with Mr. Burwell on a live theater project of plays by the Coen brothers and Charlie Kaufman, which received performances in New York, London, and Los Angeles. As a songwriter, Mr. Herskowitz has collaborated with many artists and producers, including pop diva Lara Fabian, and French pop-rock singer Sylvie Cobo. His songs have appeared on best-selling albums in France and Canada.
Other notable accomplishments include the 1998 Canadian premiere of Mr. Herskowitz’s Chorale and Variations on a Theme of Dave Brubeck - an original piece for piano and chamber orchestra performed by the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal. Mr. Herskowitz is also the Grand Prize Winner of the 1997 Orford Festival International Piano Competition. As a result of the award, he was invited to record Glazunov's Piano Concerto no. 2 with I Musici de Montreal (1998, Chandos Records). The recording was hailed as “by far the best performance on CD” by Strad magazine.
David Rozenblatt’s talents have drawn him to all corners of the globe and all styles of music, performing in the world’s most revered concert halls as well as intimate nightclubs. He has performed and collaborated with some of the finest talents in Pop, Jazz and Classical including Barry Manilow, with whom he recorded his latest CDs, The Greatest Songs of the 70’s, The Greatest Songs of the 80’s and four chart topping DVDs, Music and Passion (Platnum), First and Farewell, PBS’s Songs From The 70’s(Double Platnum) and A&E’s Happy Holidays . Barry’s latest Christmas recording, In The Swing Of Christmas which went Gold in the US alone and Grammy nominated for "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" features David’s trio MaD Fusion, his inspired collaboration with virtuoso pianist Matt Herskowitz and bassist Mat Fieldes, with whom he tours nationally and internationally. MaD Fusion’s debut CD, entitled Forget Me Not - Herskowitz Rozenblatt Project featuring Lew Soloff (Disques Tout Crin) was released to rave reviews and nominated for the Felix Award for “best jazz CD of the year”.
David performed and/or collaborated with The Killers, Paul Simon, Usher, Baby Face, Reba McEntire, Cindy Lauper, Donna Summer, Judy Collins, Micky Dolenz, David Foster, Randy Kerber, Lara Fabian, Jon Secada, Katherine McPhee, Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, Esperanza Spalding, The Ronettes, Paul Shaffer, Will Lee, Little Anthony, Bobby Womack, Ronnie Wood, Dave Koz, Joe Zawinul, Paquito D’Rivera, Ornette Coleman, Adam Holzman, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Mike Keneally, Mark Egan, Pierre Boulez, Dimitri Hvorostovsky, Vladimir Spivakov and Elliot Carter.
David has performed at Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum, the Meadowlands, Gund Arena, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, England’s Blenheim Palace, Japan’s Santori Hall, and London’s Barbican.
On Television, David can be seen performing on The 22nd & 24th Annual Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fames, The Emmy Awards, The American Music Awards, Late Show With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, A&E’s Live By Request, PBS’s “Soundstage”, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Ellen Show, The Today Show, The Early Show, Martha Stewart, and BBC Television.
As drummer, producer and composer for the critically acclaimed, Grammy nominated + German Record Critics’ Award winning Absolute Ensemble, David can be heard on the group’s seven released CDs and serves as producer on FIX (Enja Records). He is also featured on many albums of various genres featuring renowned artists, and on the soundtrack recordings for the feature films The Chamber, Wide Awake, You've Got Mail, Swat, Perfume and The Marconi Bros.
On Broadway, David performed in Swan Lake, Smokey Joe’s Café, Sunset Boulevard, The King and I, Miss Saigon, Elton John’s Aida, Jim Steinman’s Dance Of The Vampires featuring Michael Crawford, and Legally Blonde. He has performed with the Met Orchestra, NYC Opera and Ballet, St. Luke's Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Jupiter Symphony, Concordia Orchestra, EOS, Moscow Chamber Symphony, the Moscow Virtuosi, and premiered Mark Anthony Turnage’s Blood On The Floor (originally written for Peter Erskine) as soloist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Australia in 2005.
David’s music for Three Point Turn, choreographed by the esteemed Dwight Rhoden for prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva, Desmond Richardson and members of the Kirov Ballet, premiered at New York City Center, The Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Stanislavsky Musical Theater in Moscow. Three Point Turn is part of the highly acclaimed Dance spectacle “Beauty In Motion” for which Vishneva won the 2009 Gloden Mask Award for "Best Female Performer in Ballet or Modern Dance". David's latest commission of Dwight Rhoden’s Othello for the North Carolina Dance Theater premiered in Charlotte, NC to rave reviews.
David received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School where he became a founding member of the critically acclaimed New York Percussion Quartet. Born in the Ukraine, David moved to the United States at the age of four and one year later began playing drums professionally. He began his formal training at the Kaufman Cultural Center in New York City and, following graduation, was appointed to the faculty - a position he held for over ten years. David’s also devotes his time to recording and producing music from his recording studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
David officially endorses © Latin Percussion (LP) and Vic Firth and is on the faculty of Hofstra University as adjunct professor of percussion.
Mat Fieldes is one of the most sought-after bass players on the New York freelance scene today. Equally comfortable in Jazz, Rock, Hip-hop, R&B, and Classical genres, Mr. Fieldes has collaborated with such luminaries as Joe Jackson, John Cale, Ornette Coleman, Steve Vai, Peter Erskine, Paquito D'Rivera, Kristjan Jarvi, Joe Williams, Arturo Sandaval, and Toni Tennille among others. His recent appearances include Dream Engine – the latest vehicle for legendary song-writer Jim Steinman. Mr Fieldes was honored to perform with the acclaimed crossover hip-hop virtual band the Gorillaz, live at the Apollo theater, and hip-hop legend Jay-Z at Radio City Music Hall in the spring of 2006. In 2001, he performed on Joe Jackson’s album, Symphony, which won a Grammy Award for “Best Pop Instrumental”.
Mr. Fieldes tours extensively as solo bassist for Absolute Ensemble, an electro-acoustic crossover chamber orchestra, which performs at major venues worldwide. Recent appearances include the Sydney Opera House, Koln Philharmonie, London Barbican, the Estonia Concert Hall, and residencies at Bremen and Adelaide Festivals. In 2000, the ensemble won the coveted German Record Critic's Award for its album Mix. The ensemble received a Grammy nomination in the 'Best Small Ensemble' category for its album Absolution (2002, Enja Records). Current collaborations include recordings and touring with Joe Zawinul, and a Frank Zappa tribute featuring Mike Keneally and Napolean Murphy Brock.
As a soloist, Mr. Fieldes has performed Mark Anthony Turnage's concerto Blood on the Floor, at Miller Theater, New York City, in 2001. In 2004, he performed the same concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Also that year, he premiered Gene Pritsker’s concerto for electric and acoustic bass, Lost Illusions, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in front of 30,000 people.
Mr. Fieldes is currently a member of the acclaimed Herskowitz-Rozenblatt Project (HRP). Other performances and collaborations include the New York based Quasilulu, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestras, Continuum, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Second Generation Productions, and the Jose Limon Dance Company.
Mr. Fieldes was born in Hastings, New Zealand. He earned his Master’s degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Eugene Levinson, Principal Bass of the New York Philharmonic.
Violin / Trombone
Violinist/Trombonist Eddie Venegas was born in Caracas, Venezuela and studied with Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet at The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters in Performance of Classical Violin. Venegas is also a self-taught trombonist and very active on both instruments in the NYC freelance jazz, classical, and Latin music scenes. He has worked with such renowned artists as John Fadis, Joe Zawinul, Tito Puente, Mark Antony, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Dani Rojo and Johnny Pacheco, among others and has appeared as a soloist with numerous groups including The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Hudson Jazz Ensemble, Saint Martins of Tours Symphony Orchestra, the Carpentier Quartet and the Queens Philharmonic. Venegas plays regularly with The Harrisburg Symphony, La Orquesta Broadway, the Sphinx Symphony and En Talla, and his original compositions can be heard among the Sweet Plantain and The 3 Sad Cats Jazz Ensemble regular repertoire. Venegas can additionally be seen in the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Antony movie, El Cantante.
Violinist Romulo Benavides studied with the late Emil Friedman in his native Venezuela and obtained his Bachelors from The Juilliard School. As Concertmaster of Arcos Juveniles de Caracas, he performed as soloist in the United States, Spain, Dominican Republic and throughout Venezuela, and in 1985, he won 1st Prize at the Juan Bautista Plaza Violin Competition in Caracas. He went on to perform as soloist with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, Carabobo Chamber Orchestra and the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra. In NYC he has performed with the Carpentier Quartet, Ensemble America, Frank Valiente Tango Quintet, and with Mauricio Najt and Alberto Quiroga. Benavides performs as the first violinist of the Dali Quartet and is Concertmaster and featured soloist of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded for New World Records and performed in master classes for Itzhak Perlman at Brooklyn College and for Peter Winograd at The Aspen Music School.
Violist Orlando Wells, a NJ native, studied at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and graduated with Behrens Foundation and B’nai Brith scholarships. He then went on to S.U.N.Y. Purchase and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. Wells has held the concertmaster chair with Orchestra of the Bronx and the Bronx Opera and has appeared as a soloist with Antara, the Manhattan Virtuosi and the St. Peter by the Sea Orchestra. He also performs with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, SONYC Chamber Orchestra, Ritz Chamber Players, Quartet Evolution, Sweet Plantain, Radio City Christmas Show Orchestra and on Broadway with Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, Spamalot and Wicked. He has collaborated with such greats as John Legend, Mariah Carrey, Rihanna, Kanye West, Marvin Hamlish, the Akua Dixon Swing Quartet, Sojourner Strings, and Dionne Warwick.
Cellist David Gotay, born in the Bronx, has performed in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and the White House. He has played on television in PBS’ Sessions at 54th Street, on the QVC Network and in the nationally-broadcast Hurricane Katrina Benefit with Sheryl Crow. He has collaborated with such artists as Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, k.d. lang, David Sanborn, Little Jimmy Scott, John Blake Jr., and Mannheim Steamroller. Mr. Gotay is a rapper and electric cellist of the experimental hip-hop/classical group Sound Liberation, whose debut album is released on the Col Legno label in Germany. He regularly performs with the Harrisburg Symphony, Key West Symphony, and the Sphinx Symphony in Detroit. Among his numerous awards are included: Chamber Music America’s Residency Partnership Program Grant; Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks Visiting Professorship, University of Michigan; Meet The Composer Met Life Creative Connections grant, Harlem School of the Arts Certificate of Appreciation; and Chamber Music Live Award, Queens College.