5/21/2010 [Pianos & Keyboards]Internationally Known Performer Records First Solo CD on C7 Grand
Yamaha Artist Alexander A. Wu
"Yamaha, as a company, is very open-minded and encouraging. Since I've been in the music business for a long time, I see being a Yamaha Artist as a wonderful opportunity to affiliate with a growing company," says Wu. "It will be great to help promote Yamaha pianos through good music and programs, and to be a part of Yamaha's commitment to innovation and technology. I hope our collaboration will continue to grow."
Wu performed at Faust Harrison Pianos (205 West 58th Street, 7th Avenue & Broadway) on Saturday, May 15, as one of three Yamaha Artists to inaugurate the new Yamaha CFX Grand piano, which is currently on an American tour. Wu's program, "Fascinatin' Rhythms," featured the music of Piazzolla, Jobim, Gershwin, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Isaac Albeniz, Rafael Landestoy, and other acclaimed composers. "I developed the program last year, and it's pretty eclectic," says Wu. "I call it music that bridges the gap because it includes jazz classics, early bossa nova, tango, and early 20th century music in a new style and with a fresh sound."
Wu has performed at YASI twice over the past three years - the first time with his band, ZigZag Quartet, and, more recently, as a solo pianist. "I met the Director of YASI, James Steeber, and he liked the program of music," Wu recalls. "This spring, when I was scheduled to do a concert at the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Square to promote the release of my CD with jazz pianist Frank Ponzio, "All4One Piano Duo: Classical and Jazz Music of the Americas," I discovered the piano was not very good. I called James to ask about the possibility of having a Yamaha piano there for the performance and he offered the Yamaha AvantGrand. Things have fallen into place since then, and I'm very pleased to join the Yamaha Artist roster and look forward to developing this new relationship."
"Alex Wu understands the arts and how live musical performance fits into that," says Steeber. "He's got a natural way of approaching audiences and knows how to capture them with interesting and varied programming. He has quickly become a real Yamaha promoter, and I know he has an abiding affection, particularly, for American music. I'm happy to have him on our roster."
This spring, Wu recorded his first solo repertoire CD on a Yamaha C7 grand piano at Bennett Studios in Engelwood, NJ, with an anticipated release date of summer 2010. It features his "Fascinatin' Rhythms" program of classical, popular and jazz tunes from composers in Spain, Latin America and North America. "I love the clarity and brilliance of Yamaha pianos, especially in the upper registers of the keyboard," says Wu. "It's difficult to find concert grand pianos that attain those qualities throughout the entire keyboard but Yamaha pianos are consistently very clear and precise."
Wu teaches privately in Manhattan, served on the faculty at City College at C.U.N.Y. and is co-founder and artist-in-residence at the Black Bear Conservatory of Music in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He has been a guest artist with the Juan de Salazar Spanish Cultural Center in Paraguay, South America where he performed three concerts of Spanish and Latin American music and conducted a piano master class at the Spanish Embassy. Wu has given numerous solo recitals in engagements abroad in England, Italy, Spain, France and China, as well as throughout the United States and in New York at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, David Rubenstein Atrium and Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Mannes College of Music Auditorium and Bargemusic.
For further information, please visit www.alexanderawu.com or www.yamaha.com/yasi.