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Jazz Bridge welcomes pianist Mike Bond and his group to Collingswood

March 3, 2022 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Jazz Bridge welcomes pianist Mike Bond and his group to Collingswood

About this event

Jazz Bridge Vice Present Kevin Johnson proudly hosts “Jazz in the Wood,” First Thursdays Neighborhood Concerts at the Collingswood Community Center, 30 Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108.

Please join us on March 3, 2022 as we welcome pianist Mike Bond to Collingswood. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $15 online in advance at Eventbrite or at the door. Students admission is $5 with ID and children under 12 years old get in for free! But you must register at Eventbrite. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. PROOF OF VACCINATION IS REQUIRED.

One of the most striking qualities of Mike Bond’s superb debut recording, The Honorable Ones, is the understated, sophisticated way in which the 30-year-old pianist-composer subsumes his abundant technique for imperatives of beauty and self-expression. His sophisticated, restrained, nuanced jazz aesthetics — grounded in exhaustive study of antecedent master practitioners of his instrument and animated by his devotion to the freedom principle — spring directly from his personal history.

The son of a Caucasian physics professor and a first-generation Chinese-American stay-at-home-mom whose parents migrated to the U.S. after the Cultural Revolution, Bond started playing piano at age 4. Two years later, he won his first classical piano competition at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, launching a long period during which he participated in contests at which he and his peers played repertoire by Beethoven, Bach, Mendelssohn, and Haydn. Burned out by the pressure of performing, he withdrew from that world at 11.

His jazz education began soon thereafter, as a saxophonist in middle school and high school jazz band near Princeton, N.J., where his parents had moved from Old Bridge, N.J., where he spent his first ten years. “I played saxophone, clarinet and sang in various ensembles — the orchestra, the studio jazz band, wind ensemble, concert choir and marching band,” Bond says. “But when I was 14, my freshman year of high school, the band director needed a jazz piano player for his ensemble, and I was struggling with the chord changes.”

To rectify the issue, Bond was sent to study with pianist Jim Ridl (best known for his long association with Pat Martino), who lived in a neighboring town. “I was mesmerized by Jim’s playing,” Bond says. “I wondered how he could just improvise. He introduced me to my first jazz records. Jim gave me the basic tools — the forms, the basic tools of improvisation, the building blocks.”

After high school, Bond matriculated at Rutgers University, where he studied with Stanley Cowell. “Stanley taught me to embrace music as ‘a mirror of the mind, and the piano as an extension of myself.” “He helped me see the piano as the whole orchestra and shared with me his innovative methods for approaching counterpoint and harmony” he says.

“I also would go to New York to study with Mike LeDonne, because I wanted to actually learn how to play in the be-bop and hard-bop styles. As a sophomore, I realized I wasn’t swinging and I had to figure out how. Then I realized that I had to check out the history; I couldn’t understand what Herbie Hancock does until I understood what Red Garland and Wynton Kelly were doing. With Mike, I really studied, the older cats and the newer cats who embodied the bebop and hard-bop language; those who created it and those who wielded it at the highest level: Bud Powell, Hank Jones’, Barry Harris, Ahmad JamalKenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller. They embody to me what it means to play this music at the highest level.”

Jazz Bridge, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to assisting Greater Philadelphia Metro area jazz and blues musicians and vocalists in times of crisis, sponsors these neighborhood concerts throughout the region to keep the sound of Philadelphia alive.

For more info call: 215-280-2254, 215-517-8337 or visit online at jazzbridge.org/events/neighborhood-concerts


Jazz Bridge
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Collingswood Community Center
30 West Collings Avenue
Collingswood, NJ 08108
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