Cutting-edge jazz pioneer ensemble Yoron Israel and High Standards, a breakthrough instrumental quartet based in Boston, MA, launches a two-state Midwest tour in March with stops in St. Louis and Chicago, celebrating their latest album recording This Moment.
Hailed for forging elite standards in jazz performance since their formation in 2001, Yoron Israel and High Standards composes and arranges jazz that speaks to the next century and beyond. Four virtuosic musicians forge a road untraveled in jazz imagination, mesmerizing audiences from their very first note. Together the four instrumentalists blend their artistic, personalized perspective with revered musical references, notably in their recent recording Visions – Tribute to Stevie Wonder. The group features bandleader and renowned percussion master Yoron Israel, drums, Marco Pignataro, tenor and soprano saxophone, Laszlo Gardony, piano and Henry Lugo, bass. Each member brings countless accolades and skill to the ensemble, a match made in jazz heaven for the listener. Israel’s musicality, intensity and versatility hover around brilliance, appreciated worldwide, with international recognition for performance and over 200 major recordings as accompanist. He also serves as a percussion education author and esteemed Assistant Chair and Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music.
The band’s tour launches from Missouri, presented by St. Louis-based Robbie’s House of Jazz, with a concert performance on Thursday, March 17, 7:30 pm at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Blvd, St. Louis. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The ensemble perform works from their latest recording This Moment along with compositions from previous recordings including Visions, Basic Traneing, A Gift for You and Chicago. Sonor Drum Company is generously sponsoring percussion equipment.
In Illinois, Chicago native Israel gives back to the Chicago Board of Education community that played such an important role in shaping his musical development. On Friday, March 18, he’ll present a series of educational programs (Ensemble Workshop at 11 am, Drumset Clinic at 12 noon) for the students of the Arthur Dixon School, 8306 S. St. Lawrence Ave, Chicago. The music program is currently under the leadership of Israel’s former mentor, Diane Ellis, propelling the facility to a prominent arts-centered Elementary school on Chicago’s south side. Students and faculty will enjoy a day of education and performance including a Jazz Ensemble Master Class, Drum Set Clinic. The events culminate in a full performance by Yoron Israel and High Standards at 1:45 pm, open to the public, admission is free. The day’s programs are generously co-sponsored by Zildjian Cymbals and Evans Drum Heads.
For more information about Yoron Israel and High Standards, visit yoronisrael.com.
Yoron Israel and High Standards photo credit: Denise Maccaferri