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Can Chinese Classical Pianist Di Wu Play Jazz With The Pros? You Bet!

The more you look and listen, the more you realize that classical music and jazz tend not to stay in separate lanes.  Sometimes they won't even use turn signals.  A good example is "With A Gentle Touch," from the CD, Classic Encounter by the Ramsey Lewis Trio with the Philharmonia Orchestra under James Mack. Warning: this is a habit-forming tune, as is the whole CD.  


Another example is the event happening on April 13th, at the University of the Arts in Center City.  There, Lifeline Music Coalition's (LMC) Jazz Up, Down and Around series continues with A Concert of Jazzical Music: We're All The Same, Just Different.In this concert, virtuoso classical pianist Di Wu and Chinese Erhu Master Qin Qian join with bassist Warren Oree and his Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble to perform music of John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and more.  Info here.


In part one of this week's Crossover, Jill speaks with Oree, one of LMC's co-founders, and Di Wu, about the pianist's jazz debut, the LMC, the event itself and the two musical genres that power what we do.  We'll also hear excerpts from a recording of Di Wu performing at the finals of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and an homage to Ridge Avenue by the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble.  We'll try to remember to use our blinkers.

In part two of this week's program, we look ahead to the Jewish holiday of Passover, with music performed by the Klezmatics recorded live in Berlin in 2004.  Passover begins Monday, April 14th at sundown.  More WRTI programming for the holiday here.

Crossover, with Jill Pasternak, airs Saturday morning at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore Friday evening at 7 pm on WRTI-HD2.  Both airings are available on the All-Classical stream at wrti.org.

It's his parents' fault. For Joe's sixth birthday, they gave him a transistor radio. All of a sudden, their dreams of having a doctor or lawyer (or even a fry cook) in the family went down the tubes.