West 73rd-The Kurt Weill Project
"...an insightful and intimate evening of Kurt Weill music in a distinctively jazz style...the emphasis here is a musical investigation of Weill's work, probing his melodies and rhythms, moving the songs in unexpected directions, searching for new discoveries....the performance radiates the sense of passion, collaboration, and curiosity that fuel any worthy artistic project." -Jason Jacobs, nytheatre.com review 3/26/09
"...this young hip jazz group lovingly performed grannys music without a whiff of irony. Recalling another lost smoke-filled era, they could easily have played Ricks place in Casablanca without anyone raising an eyebrow....Weill insisted that he did not write for posterity, but groups such as The Kurt Weill Project are very much keeping his memory green...The four let the music speak for itself...Kurt Weill would have been pleased." -Michael Patrick Hearn, 4/08/09
Like much of Kurt Weills music, the Kurt Weill Project was conceived in the spirit of collaboration. United by their musical curiosity and shared love of jazz, pianist Frank Ponzio, bassist Peter Donovan, drummer Vito Lesczak, and vocalist Hilary Gardner embarked on a musical journey through the eclectic, haunting, and deeply human world of Kurt Weill.
Unwilling to restrict their creativity to a specific genre, the musicians agreed early on that the music itself should be their guide. Their resulting recording, A Song About Forever, explores Weills music from a jazz perspective, while incorporating the classical, theatrical, and global influences that continue to make Weills music compelling to listeners from all walks of life.
The quartet calls itself "West 73rd" in a nod to where their musical collaboration began: in the studio of pianist/producer Frank Ponzio on West 73rd Street in Manhattan. The members of West 73rd draw their inspiration from the non-stop energy pulsing through the streets of New York City. Their resulting music is as sophisticated, dynamic and ever-changing as New York itself.