SUMMIT, NJ - Renowned jazz pianist Bill Charlap will play a solo recital in the Hilltop City February 21 as part of Unitarian Church's Afternoon Music concert series. The performance begins at 4 p.m., with the audience invited to meet Charlap at a post-recital reception.

One of the world’s premiere jazz pianists, Bill Charlap is known for his interpretations of American jazz standards, familiar Broadway tunes, and the Great American Songbook. He has performed with many leading artists, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis.            

Last year, he and Tony Bennett teamed up for a Jerome Kern album, "The Silver Lining: the Songs of Jerome Kern," which has been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award. His earlier albums have featured the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.

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“Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…,” wrote Time magazine. ”When he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession. The tune rises, falls, disappears and resurfaces in new forms as Charlap ranges over the keyboard with nimble, crisply swinging lines, subtly layered textures, dense chords and spiky interjections.”

Since 1997, Charlap most often performs with the Bill Charlap Trio, one of the leading groups in jazz, featuring bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. He also performs frequently in a duo piano setting with his wife, the acclaimed jazz pianist Renee Rosnes.

Charlap, who lives in West Orange, has been a frequent guest of Afternoon Music over the past 11 years. He has played solo five times since 2005, and once with the singer Sandy Stewart, his mother.

For more than 10 years, Charlap has been artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y. Last year, he was appointed director of William Paterson University’s Jazz Studies Program in Wayne, one of the longest-running and most respected jazz programs in the country.

Afternoon Music tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. Students are welcome free. For advance tickets, send a check made out to Afternoon Music to the Unitarian Church at 4 Waldron Avenue, Summit, NJ, 07901. There are no reserved seats.

The series is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.

Further information call 908-273-2899 or visit  ucsummit.org.