LIVE on Folk & Beyond with Aer Stephen
Thursday August 4, 2011, 5-7 PM
Aer Stephen welcomes the return of what some have called, “The Most Versatile Musician In The World”, the Charlottesville enigma, Art Wheeler. This edition will take us to the “beyond” that only Art can lead us to, as Mr. Wheeler stops in for this very special episode of Folk & Beyond bringing with him a virtual who’s who of Charlottesville’s top shelf musicians. “The History of Jazz Piano on the 12 Bar Blues Progression” has been updated by going further back in time, “Piano Compositions for the Left Hand Only” with be showcased, and no doubt we will visit nooks and crannies of music that can only be described by the tatterdemalion hypersesquipedalion himself, Artimus Idioticus Artimus Harmonicus Artimus Pianicus Afro-saxon Afrodisiaction. Well known as a keyboard virtuoso, Art Wheeler will be debuting Harmonica solos with the band, and I have inside scoop that it is groundbreaking. We will also explore the music that includes some of the many other instruments that this most versatile virtuoso lays it down with. The show will start just after 5, and we will undoubtedly be able to fill the whole 2 hours.
Art last appeared on Folk & Beyond in January of 2010 just before the World Premier Performance of Art’s composition of “Aesop’s Fables”. This wonderful new composition was performed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center on January 23, by the Charlottesville High School String Ensemble with two Premier performances that day. It brought the daughter of the long time conductor of the New York Philharmonic to town, Jamie Bernstein, to narrate Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. We will have, in studio, a special version where Art performs all the music, and narrates as well. We will also be spinning addition original compositions of Art’s, and hear some of 1,107 transitions of the “Polyphony Epiphany”, and live explorations of it by Art’s guest, Steve Kessler on piano. The studio band also includes Pete Spaar on bass, John D’earth on trumpet, and Jeff Decker on tenor sax.
Keyboardist and Composer Art Wheeler loves music, all great music - New Orleans jazz, Memphis blues, Chicago blues, jazz, salsa, you name the style, he's listening, studying and playing it. But that's not all. Gershwin, Beatles, Kern, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, African American gospel, ragtime, stride, swing, Motown soul. He's a musical encyclopedia and can play it all. Robert Jospe, drummer-percussionist who has played with jazz greats Michael Brecker and Emily Remler says, "In my 25 years as a professional musician I don't know anyone anywhere who can play as many different styles with the insight and authority as Art Wheeler". Art Wheeler's virtuoso skill came to the attention of Oscar winner Jessica Lange. As a result they began rehearsing songs for the film "Blue Sky". Their work together led to a small role for Art who composed and performed original material in the movie. Lange would go on to win an Academy Award for her performance. As a music teacher Art Wheeler has been in the employ of Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepherd, John Kluge and Tommy Lee Jones. Art has recently completed his book "Polyphony Epiphany - The Unique Collection of 1107 Modulations From C to A minor". In addition, Art composed, performed and produced an album for Grammy Award nominee Guitar Slim Junior. Recorded at Sun Studios, "Nothing Nice" features the legendary Memphis Horns. Art has lectured on the history of blues and jazz piano at the University of Virginia, and for several years, improvised to great acclaim accompaniment for silent films at the Virginia Festival of American Film. He has also performed. to acclaim, gospel music in African-American churches from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Selma, Alabama to Los Angeles. Art Wheeler continues to challenge himself by studying and playing all the world's great folk, classical and other musical styles.