Traditional Jazz With A Hint Of Tropical Flavor


Professional pianist Beth Lederman returns to Payson Sunday for an afternoon of traditional jazz, spiked with Brazilian flavor.

"Jazz is challenging, fun and inspirational," Lederman said. "We try to play the music how it should sound, with not just the notes, but with the heart behind it."


Beth Lederman brings a quartet and a taste of Brazil to the July 9 jazz concert at the Community Presbyterian Church.

Lederman will be joined onstage by Gerry Reynolds on drums, Thomas Williams on bass and Mike Crotty on saxophone, flugel horn and trumpet. Local piano player Bob Smolenski will also add his expertise to several tunes.

Both Crotty and Williams are alumni of the United States Air Force band Airmen of Note.

"In the armed services, it's the top jazz band," Lederman said. "It is pretty prestigious."

The quartet's set will include instrumental standards by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, as well as more upbeat songs by Brazilian composer Jobim, Lederman said.

Beth Lederman Jazz QuartetWhen: 2 p.m., Sunday, July 8Where: Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.Cost: $5 donationContact: Gerry Reynolds at (480) 785-1278 if you plan to attend.

"I love Latin and Brazilian music," said Lederman, who is also the leader of the Brazilian jazz group Novo Mundo. "I like the rhythms, which are complex in harmony."

Lederman started her career by playing gigs in Flagstaff.

"My dad played piano and I always enjoyed it," said Lederman, who began studying classical music at age 5. "I was pretty good at piano, and it's more fun to do things you're good at."

Despite her innate talent, Lederman said she does not write her own music.

"I feel I am able to express myself through the repertoire that is already out there," said Lederman, whose musical tastes extend to rock, pop and rhythm and blues. "But I improvise a lot."

Lederman said she is happy to play again in Payson.

"In the Valley, they take for granted all of the events going on and don't attend at all," Lederman said.

"Payson is great about supporting people who come out to play."

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