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Newton Piano Summit 2022

The 2022 Newton Piano Summit, organized by the Waban Improvement Society, will be held at Second Church. We are delighted to host three diverse and exciting concerts.

Thanks to these fine organizations:


Saturdays, 1-3:00 pm

May 7  Baroque: The Goldberg Variations


Andrus Madsen and April Sun will perform the late 19th century two-piano arrangement of The Goldberg Variations by Josef Rheinberger, who said, "The Goldberg Variations are among the most meaningful works J. S. Bach wrote for keyboard.” They will perform on an 1875 Streicher piano, and an 1883 Erard piano.

Our own Andrus Madsen is well-known internationally in early music circles and performs on the organ, harpsichord, clavichord, and fortepiano. He is the founding director of Newton Baroque. Andrus received a Bachelor’s in organ performance from Brigham Young University and a Master’s in Musicology and a Masters and Doctorate in harpsichord performance at the Eastman School of Music. He is known for his eloquent Baroque-style improvisations. His recording of keyboard music by Pachelbel has received critical acclaim. “Superb recordings of superb instruments by a musician who deserves to be better known.” -- Michael Barone of pipedreams.

​Boston-based pianist ​​​​April Sun co-founded the Meadowlark Piano Trio, frequently

collaborates with the Phoenix and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestras, and has performed at Calderwood Hall (Boston), Bing Concert Hall (Stanford), Spectrum (NYC), Pepsico Hall (Fort Worth), and the American Exchange Center at Jiaotong University (China). She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and teaches at the Brookline Music School. She serves as a collaborative pianist at New England Conservatory and Boston University. 

May 14  Explorations in Latin Music


Harold Charon is the youngest headliner we have featured on the Summit. Originally from Havana, he began piano lessons at 5 years old. Exuding musicianship decades beyond his years, he went on a Canadian tour which included the Halifax Jazz Festival, and received training from  Fred Hersh, Taylor Eigsty, Billy Childs and the late great jazz master Chick Corea.

Crossing genres, Harold has worked with a variety of artists including Leo Vera, La Cruzada, and Los Clasicos. In 2016 he joined Janio Abreu and Aire D’ Concierto, where he worked as a pianist and composer for Ruy Lopez-Nussa y La Academia. Currently, he is finishing his studies at Berklee, majoring in jazz composition and performance. His music features influences from Latin, Salsa, Jazz and Timba. Timba is a Cuban genre of music based on Cuban son with salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Chucho Valdez, bandleader of Irakere, is considered one of the founders of the style.  

He’s bringing some amazing talent with him, including:

  • Trumpeter Richard Stanmeyer who also studies at Berklee on a grant from the college’s Presidential Scholarship Committee. His teachers include Tia Fuller, Marquis Hill, Jason Palmer, Charlie Lewis, and Jeff Stout among others. He performs regularly around town at Wally’s Jazz Café, the House of Blues, the Middle East, PAX East, and The Lilypad.

  • Ernan D. Ramos Ortiz “Ed Rox” – Congas and Cajon – is a multi-instrumentalist, rapper, composer, and producer who is strongly influenced by the rich musical culture of Puerto Rico and his upbringing in a family of musicians. “For me, music is the only way that your soul can speak itself.” 

  • Michael Doughty is a bassist from North Andover, MA. and recently was the bassist for Berklee’s Signature Series concert featuring Afro-Cuban artist, Daymé Arocena. 

  • Cristián Tamblay is a Chilean drummer who performs and records with a wide variety of global artists.

May 21  PUSH: Celebrating Women in Jazz


Simply put, Helen Sung is the most innovative, jaw-dropping new artist on the planet that Summit organizers have heard in years. She melds influences from jazz, classical, and Latin into astounding expeditions into new territories. Her latest album Quartet+ is breathtaking with tasteful, surprising, and dramatic new workings of some jazz standards and inspiring original material. Currently residing in New York and touring major venues internationally, we are very fortunate to have her make a stop in Newton.  

Helen is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. A native of Houston, Texas, and graduate of its High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), she went on to become part of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute (now the Herbie Hancock Institute) at the New England Conservatory of Music. Her recent releases, Sung With Words (Stricker Street), a collaborative project with renowned poet Dana Gioia, and Anthem For A New Day (Concord Jazz), topped the jazz charts. Quartet+ (Sunnyside Records), her latest release, followed suit, garnering a 4.5-star DownBeat review and inclusion in its

“Best of 2021 Albums” list and a JazzTimes cover story (January 2022 issue). Helen and her band have at performed at Newport, Monterey, Disney Hall, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall. Internationally, her “NuGenerations” Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent engagements include debuts at the London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Blue Note Beijing, and the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. She has performed with such luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis (who named her as one of his “Who’s Got Next: Jazz Musicians to Watch!”), MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter, and Grammy-winning artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and the Mingus Big Band. Helen is a Steinway Artist and has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School, and Columbia University.

Her trio includes David Wong, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Newton  Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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