Jazz with The Debbie Poryes Quartet | TheUnion.com

Jazz with The Debbie Poryes Quartet

The Center for the Arts’ newly acquired Steinway grand piano will get another chance to shine on Sunday when Bay Area jazz pianist Debbie Poryes performs with her quartet. Nevada County jazz luminary Bill Douglass is a member of the group. “Debbie Poryes is one of my favorites,” Douglass said. “Great touch, beautiful lines, swings with a passion, and chord voicings to make you weep!”

Poryes has been a faculty member of the Berkeley Jazzschool since 2000, teaching jazz piano and functional harmony. She also maintains a large private teaching studio with more than 30 students. Poryes is a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California and the Jazz Education Network. She continues to refine her piano technique with classical teacher John Bloomfield, and regularly performs throughout the Bay Area. Her recent solo and ensemble performances include appearances at Yoshi’s Jazzclub, the Oakland Museum, the Jazzschool, the Berkeley Piano Club, the 2009 Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and many other venues.

Poryes has recorded a new quartet CD, “Catch Your Breath,” which will be released on Origin Records (voted 2009 Jazz Label of the Year at the JazzWeek awards in New York) in March. The new recording features four new original compositions in addition to Debbie’s imaginative arrangements of standards. She lives in Orinda with her husband and daughter.

Introduction to Jazz Piano for Adults and Teens

Jazz pianist Debbie Poryes will present an overview of some of the skills necessary to develop the ability to play jazz piano. The three main seventh chords will be presented and some jazz voicings given.

Debbie will give some practical suggestions as to how to develop a “swing” feel. Various ideas will be given on how to improvise and all this will be applied to a tune or two. Debbie will have an outline and handouts so you will have something to take notes on and to take home.

Feel free to record the workshop as well. This is a “gather around the piano cozy workshop” and attendees will be encouraged to try out some of these ideas while all together.

The workshop will be 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday $15 per participant or $30 with the show.

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