Ken Burns’ pianist, Schwab, in concert at ICC’s Polk Center

Published 12:09 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

The public is invited to Isothermal Community College’s Polk Center Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. for “Mark Twain’s America,” a

Jacqueline Schwab, pianist for Ken Burns’ documentaries, will perform at ICC-Polk Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m.

concert by Ken Burns’ pianist, Jacqueline Schwab.
Schwab will perform her arrangements of vintage American music, featuring music from Mark Twain’s era (1835-1910) and beyond – Stephen Foster and Civil War song tunes, Victorian ballroom dance tunes, Scots and Irish songs and dance tunes brought over by settlers, hymns and spirituals, ragtime, plus 20th-century tango and Billie Holiday blues, as well contemporary-style Celtic and English traditional music. These may include some new arrangements from an upcoming solo piano recording featuring waltzes, airs and tangos. Jacqueline’s arrangements of American heart songs honor the community and improvisational spirit of music making reported in Twain’s times but also have a contemporary sound.
In Ken Burns’ words, “Jacqueline Schwab brings more feeling and intensity to music than anyone I know. Her playing is insistent, physical, heartfelt and unusually moving.”
Drawing on classical, traditional folk and contemporary music roots, Schwab has been heard on a dozen of Burns’ documentaries, including his Grammy award-winning “Civil War,” his Emmy award-winning “Baseball,” “Lewis and Clark,” “Mark Twain,” “The War,” his recently-premiered “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” and his recently-premiered “Tenth Inning” to his “Baseball” series. Schwab’s latest project for Ken Burns will be his upcoming documentary on the Dust Bowl.
The New England Folk Almanac wrote Schwab plays with “the jazz/classical improvisational spirit of Keith Jarrett and the touch of George Winston.”
She has performed at the White House for President Clinton, with singer Jean Redpath, on Minnesota Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.”
The event is sponsored in part by Polk County ICC Foundation Inc. and is free and open to the public. More information is available at 828-894-3092.
– article submitted by Kate Barkschat