Solo pianist David Lanz returns to Seattle for a two-night stand at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley on February 28th and March 1st.
A Seattle native, Lanz is celebrating his new release, “Norwegian Rain.” The title refers to his wife Kristin’s native homeland. Lanz composed several of the pieces on this album on an old upright piano that belonged to Kristin’s grandfather. The music ranges from slow and dreamy to lively and playful, and several titles refer to the weather and seasons in Norway. .
Considered one of the pioneers of New Age/New Instrumental Music Lanz playfully coined the phrase “Heavy Mellow” to describe his genre. His lush harmonies and chords evoke an impressionistic mood–he paints with his music. It’s all part of his mission to connect with the listener—from one heart to another.
His most popular album, “Cristofori’s Dream,” topped the New Age charts in 1988. It was No. 1 on Billboard’s first adult alternative/New Age chart for 27 weeks and eventually went platinum. The album was a salute to Bartolomeo Cristofori, the man who invented the piano in the 18th century.
In 2000, Lanz’s album “East of the Moon” was nominated for a Grammy, confirming his worldwide reputation as a top instrumental recording and concert artist. The album was produced by Hugh Padgham, whose credits include works by Sting, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, The Bee Gees and Paul McCartney, among others.
With musical roots in rock, jazz and classical, Lanz seeks a balance between technical prowess and passionate grace. He communicates with sound to create beauty. There is both intensity and delicacy in his music–intimate yet direct. He says it’s “a bit like talking to a friend. You don’t have to be very complicated when you speak. If you say what’s in your heart, it’s usually very simple.”
Lanz’s CD “Movements of the Heart,” is a paean to love. One of the songs, According to Lanz, “Love’s Return,” is the most romantic love song he has written. Another, “In Moonlight,” pays homage to Beethoven’s classic, “Moonlight Sonata.” To enhance the creative mood, Lanz composed “Midnight Adagio” and “La Luna dell Amante” (The Lover’s Moon) around midnight during a full moon
You can count U.S. presidents among Lanz’s fans. “Cristofori’s Dream” has been played on Air Force One, and President George H.W. Bush asked for it to be played during his massage sessions. Plus the U.S. Navy Band performs several of Lanz’s specially arrange compositions. Lanz teases that he is the reincarnated “New Age John Philip Sousa.”
Solo pianist David Lanz will perform at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley on Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1st. Showtime 7:30pm, doors open at 6pm, get tickets here.