Roberta on the Arts
Opening Night of Piano-Plus Jazz Series for New Orleans Musicians
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Opening Night of Piano-Plus Jazz Series for New Orleans Musicians

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner and AC Pianocraft, Inc.
Piano-Plus Jazz Series to Benefit New Orleans Musicians Clinic

Nine Concerts, Once/Month
October, 2005 through June, 2006
Monday Evenings
8:00 - 10:00 PM
$20/Ticket, At the Door, Includes 8 - 10 PM Concert, Wine, and Hors d'Oeuvres
PLUS! A Spa Raffle for a Choice Treatment at !
(Bring Business Cards)

Opening Night

Vana Gierig Trio
(See Vana Gierig TWINZ CD Review)
(See Vana Gierig Reviews)
Vana Gierig on an Elegant Restored Steinway Piano
Sean Conly on Bass
Gene Jackson on Drums

A. C. Pianocraft, Inc.
333 West 52nd Street
NY, NY 10019
Ask for Alex
(See a Showroom and Piano Restoration Tour
and Owner Interview at A. C. Pianocraft, Inc.

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower and Vana Gierig
October 10, 2005

Wave (by Tom Jobim) solos: Vana & Sean.
Low Features (by Vana Gierig) solos: Vana & Gene.
A New Day (by Vana Gierig) title track, solos: Vana & Sean, composed in the Brazilian "chorinho" style.
The Dinner (by Vana Gierig) composition for "Sex & The City", solos: Vana only.
Untitled (by Vana Gierig) newest composition, not yet titled, written 2 days before the event.
Gatinha Sabidinha (by Vana Gierig) solos: Vana & Gene, Brazilian "Partido Alto" style mixed with "samba". and AC Pianocraft, Inc. are Co-Producers of a Piano-Plus Jazz Series, a series of Benefits for New Orleans Musicians Clinic (Post-Hurricane Katrina), held in the elegant showroom of AC Pianocraft, Inc., Midtown West, NYC. Owner Alex Kostakis generously provided an antique, hand-restored Steinway for Vana Gierig to play, as well as seating for the capacity crowd of 100 for this opening night. See Rehearsal Photo below, as Vana came to the showroom in advance to choose his piano for this event.

The Vana Trio captured the audience with selections from Vana's new TWINZ CD, and by the end of the performance - during his composition "Gatinha Sabidinha" - the crowd was clapping in unison to a Brazilian rhythm Vana had taught them. Vana Gierig has charisma and class, and the antique Steinway resounded with pleasure at this first ever Jazz event at AC Pianocraft, Inc., the first of many more.

The Vana Trio is a tight knit group that has been together for some time, which showed in their musical communication on stage. Vana - alternating melodic lyricism with more aggressive rhythmic and harmonic tension building - was a musical sorcerer brewing potions with the trio that lead to many exciting high points throughout the performance. His colorful register-spanning right-hand runs seemed effortless which only added to their hypnotic effect. His original compositions are moving and full of beautiful transformations. And while he got himself into daring improvisations with the trio, he never lost sight of the composition itself, bringing melodies back with new and different weight.

Drummer Gene Jackson added unique rhythmic grooves to Vana's music and played with beautiful intensity and sensitivity, and bassist Sean Conly whose interpretation of Brazilian music is as flawless as that of more traditional jazz, provided the perfect grounding between piano and drums. The intense, moving and elegant presence of Vana and his trio is unique, and I strongly recommend going to see and hear them wherever you can catch them next....
You can check for Vana's upcoming schedule.

The growing list of additional sponsors of this Series includes: and Robert Abrams, Webmaster of, (gift certificate raffles), a new Brazilian/Japanese Spa on West 56th Street at 8th Avenue, NYC; Matles Florist (Flower Arrangements), TWINZ Records (Sound Equipment), Zuni Restaurant , 9th Avenue at 43rd Street (Buffet Platters), Amish Market , 9th Avenue at 49th Street (Buffet Platters), Amarone Restaurant at 9th Avenue at 48h Street (Buffet Platters), (Publicity), Hot House Jazz Magazine (Publicity),
As well as assistance from , Ray & Frank Liquor on 9th Avenue at 48th Street, Leah Cash at AC Pianocraft, Inc., Longacre Copy Center on West 56th Street, Other AC Pianocraft, Inc. Staff, and Bethany Ewald Bultman of New Orleans Musicians Clinic, NOMC Program Director

Future Piano-Plus events in this nine-event jazz series are:
November 7, Fernando Otero Tango-Jazz Piano Duo, with Nicolas Danielson on Violin, See Fernando Otero CD Review:, December 5, 2005, Jim Ridl Jazz Piano Duo, with Diane Monroe on Violin, January 9, 2006, Alon Yavnai Piano Trio, Jazz with Middle-Eastern and South American Influences, with Massimo Biolcati on Bass and Take Toriyama on Drums, February 6, 2006, Hendrik Meurkens - Helio Alves Brazilian-Jazz Piano Duo, with Hendrik Meurkens on Harmonica, March 13, 2006, Harry Allen Saxophone with Brazilian Trio da Paz Plus, on Piano, Bass, Drums, Vocals, and More, April 3, 2006, Daryl Sherman Piano Cabaret with Loren Schoenberg on Saxophone, May 1, 2006, Latin Surprise, June 5, 2006, Two sets: Tango and World Fusion (Duo Pianos with Maurizio Najt and Thomas Barth), and a New Orleans Mix with Lenore Raphael Trio and Surprise Guests.

Copyright Notice: All articles, production titles and concepts (e.g., Piano-Plus Jazz Series), photos, web icons, column titles, and other original concepts and designs on are copyright and explicitly owned by Roberta E. Zlokower. No reproduction without prior permission from the publisher. Please contact Roberta at for reprint permission.

Vana Gierig Rehearses
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Bethany Bultman, NOMC Program Director, Roberta, and Alex Kostakis Dine at Amarone.

Bethany Bultman, Alex Kostakis, Owner, AC Pianocraft, Inc., and Tony, Amarone Proprietor.

Bethany Bultman at Zuni Restaurant.

Bethany Bultman at Ray & Frank Liquor.

Gladys, Owner of Ray & Frank Liquor, with a Customer.

Bethany Bultman at AC Pianocraft, Inc.

Bethany Bultman at AC Pianocraft, Inc.

Bethany Bultman at AC Pianocraft, Inc.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at