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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 28, 2008

Hancher brings Mehldau and his trio to Opstad Auditorium Nov. 13

The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will present jazz pianist Brad Mehldau and his trio at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in Opstad Auditorium of City High School in Iowa City.

This Hancher Auditorium event was moved to City High after the University of Iowa facility was closed indefinitely as a result of the June flood.

Mehldau, famed for his series of "Art of the Trio" recordings, is a leading light in a generation of young pianists following in the footsteps of the legendary Bill Evans, the master of elegant, introspective, classically tinged playing. A Los Angeles Times story observed that Brad Mehldau is "universally admired as one of the most adventurous pianists to arrive on the jazz scene in years."

His new 2008 recording, with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums, is the double CD "Brad Mehldau Trio Live," recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York. The recording includes Mehldau's jazz versions of "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden, as well as standards and Mehldau originals.

In 2006 he released two recordings with guitarist and recent Hancher artist Pat Metheny, "Metheny Mehldau" and "Metheny Mehldau Quartet."

Though his training was primarily classical and he listened mostly to rock while growing up, Mehldau's interest in jazz began early. In addition to Evans, he cites influences ranging from Schubert, Beethoven and Schumann to Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett.

A review in the New Statesman of London observed, "From moment to moment his playing suggests nearly every part of the jazz tradition, as well as unsettling corners of 20th-century compositions, even rock," and a Stereophile review stated, "Brad Mehldau doesn't merely conceptualize -- he emotes with yearning melancholy and rapturous ecstasy. When he plays, embers glow, then burst into flame."

He studied jazz at New York's New School for Social Research under Fred Hersch, Junior Mance, Kenny Werner and Jimmy Cobb. Cobb soon hired him to play in his band, Cobb's Mob, and Mehldau also played and recorded with the Joshua Redman Quartet before forming his own trio in 1994 and recording his first album, "Introducing," in 1995.

"Art of the Trio, Vol. 1" followed in 1997, with the next two volumes in the series appearing over the following months. Two years later, Mehldau returned with "Elegiac Cycle" as well as "Art of the Trio 4: Back at the Vanguard." "Places" followed in 2000, consisting of all original compositions that each focused on a certain city. Another "Art of the Trio" album came in 2001, followed by "Largo," which documented Mehldau performing with groups outside of his usual trio format.

His 2004 release, "Live in Tokyo," featured jazz takes on songs by Nick Drake and Radiohead.

The Nov. 13 concert is supported by Ralph H. and Marcia A. Congdon, Laurie L. Fajardo, George A. and Barbara J. Grilley, Peggy Scholz and the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $40/35/30; UI student $36/15; senior citizen $36/31.50/27; youth $28/24.50/21 from the Hancher box office.

The Hancher box office, also displaced by the June flood, is open for phone or walk-up business in Suite 107 in the south building of the Lindquist Center, at the corner of Madison and Burlington Streets, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays.  Parking is available in the metered lot by the UI Main Library on Madison Street, or in the Old Capitol Town Center parking ramp at the corner of Clinton and Burlington Streets.

From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

Any remaining tickets will be available for sale one hour before show time at the City High auditorium box office.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS:; Publicity/Press downloads:; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,