Friday, January 15, 2021 5:00pm PST
Paula Dreyer, piano

Central Star- original, solo piano album

Paula Dreyer is a classically-trained pianist and composer, making music in a unique style that draws upon influences of classical, Spanish, film, and improvisational music. She is delighted to perform her entire album Central Star at Piano Connect. Known for her transporting and mesmerizing performances, Paula has graced world-class stages from Carnegie Hall to the Green Music Center, performing in the US, Canada, Nicaragua, Prague, Portugal, and Spain. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Obras in Portugal, where she composed much of the music for her globally successful Little Gems for Piano educational series. She is also a well respected educator and presents nationally to music teachers.

Paula was the winner of the Montréal Classical Music Festival and was a chamber music semi-finalist in the Concert Artist Guild Competition at New York’s Merkin Hall. She was a long time band member for San Francisco’s legendary show Beach Blanket Babylon, which the New York Times called “a treasured San Francisco staple”. As a fan of all artistic mediums, Paula has collaborated with world-renowned choreographer Kevin Jenkins and San Francisco based visual artist Adrian Arias, as well as with genre defying groups Potaje and Matt Small’s Chamber Ensemble. Award winning choreographer Kevin Jenkins says this, “Paula infuses her original music with perfectly phrased emotion that makes my mind explode with movement concepts. The only problem I have is keeping up with her brilliance.” 

During a challenging transition period, Paula began to ask herself, “How do we process change in an ever-changing world?” In her debut original solo album Central Star, Paula tells a personal, yet universal story about the powers of imagination, intuition, and creative expression during challenging times of uncertainty, as well as offering a therapeutic medium during everyday life. This spellbinding album speaks to the triumphant yet calming creative experience. Prepare to elevate your spirit and embark on an uplifting sonic journey. For more information, please see www.pauladreyer.com.




Saturday, January 16, 2021

Jeremy Siskind, solo jazz pianist

Pianist-composer JEREMY SISKIND is “a genuine visionary” (Indianapolis Star) who “seems to defy all boundaries” (JazzInk) with music “rich in texture and nuance” (Downbeat). A top finisher in several national and international jazz piano competitions, Siskind is a two-time laureate of the American Pianists Association and the winner of the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition. Since making his professional debut juxtaposing Debussy’s Etudes with jazz standards at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Siskind has established himself as one of the nation’s most innovative and virtuosic modern pianists. 

Siskind’s multifaceted career often finds him combining musical styles and breaking aesthetic norms. As the leader of “The Housewarming Project,” Siskind has not only created “a shining example of chamber jazz” (Downbeat) whose albums often land on critics’ “best of the year” lists. He’s also established himself

as a pioneer of the in-home concert movement by presenting well over 100 in-home concerts in 25 states. On an upcoming duo album, Impressions of Debussy, Siskind explores Debussy’s Preludes through improvisation with saxophonist Andrew Rathbun. Similarly, his 2019 book-CD project, Perpetual Motion Etudes for Piano, blurs the line between classical, through-composed, piano etudes and jazz-based improvisations and invites other pianists to do the same through a beautifully self-published work that includes “Optional Improvisation Instructions” for each piece as well as through collaborative performances with classical pianists. Other projects include writing concert arrangements for rising star soprano Julia Bullock, composing the theme song for the 2017 Obie Awards, and serving as musical director for noted comediennes Lea DeLaria and Sandra Bernhard.      A highly-respected educator, Siskind has written 13 publications with Hal Leonard, including the landmark instructional books Jazz Band Pianist and First Lessons in Piano Improv. He currently teaches at California’s Fullerton College, chairs the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy’s “Creativity Track,” and spreads peace through music in places like Lebanon, Tunisia, and Thailand with the non-profit organization, Jazz Education Abroad. Jeremy Siskind is a Yamaha artist.




Sunday, January 17, 2021 5:00 pm PST

Kevin Helppie, baritone

Tribute Concert to my 3rd Grade Buddy Forrest Kinney

Kevin Helppie, Baritone, DMA
Debra Huddleston, pianist, MM, Bösendorfer Educational Artist

World Premiere: Song Cycle: Oyster Blues
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie
poetry by Henry Hughes

5 Selections from: World Songs Book Collections
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie

5 selections from: Bridges to Artistry
Pedagogic Songs for vocal students of all ages
Music by Forrest Kinney and Kevin Helppie

A couple of cherished memories from Kevin