SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Capitol Theatre, the Chick Corea Trio, featuring bassist Carlitos Del Puerto and jazz drummer Marcus Gilmore, will appear for the first time in JazzSLC's 24-year history.
For the jazz series' founder Gordon Hanks, this is a dream come true.
“Since the beginning of the series, we’ve always wanted to have Chick Corea in any musical combination, the trio or the entire band, play at the Capitol Theatre," he said in an interview. "We’d almost given up when a time slot became available late last spring. With a bit of juggling, we were able to move things around to accommodate the trio, and what a wonderful way to start the concert series.”
That might be an understatement.
Corea has amassed an amazing 64 Grammy nominations with 22 Grammy awards, as well as three additional Latin Grammy Awards. There are only three other jazz musicians in the history of the Grammys who have received more nominations and Corea, 77, still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
One of Corea's great gifts is how he has reimagined the piano. In an interview with NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, the musician explained that for him, the piano is a very complex drum.
"I think of the piano like that," Corea said. "Like a great big marimba. Or a percussion instrument. There's so many possibilities of putting it together when you've got 10 mallets and 88 drums."
Saturday night's concertgoers can expect everything from classic jazz arrangements to bebop to blues to symphonic chamber music recomposed as jazz.
“That’s the deal about Corea’s work,” Hanks said. “I’ve seen him perform countless times and it’s always a surprise what he brings to the stage. In a sense, it reminds me of a magic act. What’s he going to pull out of the hat now?”
The genius and generosity of Corea’s talents extend to his trio members, and they get ample time to display their own talents.
Bassist Del Puerto is one of the bass world's greats. At 17 years old, Del Puerto won the Best New Jazz Artist at the International Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba, and brings with him an impressive array of jazz tributes.
Not to be outdone, drummer Gilmore, the youngest member of the trio, picked up the drums at the age of 10 and was greatly influenced and encouraged by his grandfather, the legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes.
In an interview with the New York Times_,_ Gilmore spoke of his own drumming style. “I always wanted to be a drummer who knew how to get around the drums," he said. "But also I wanted to be a taste drummer — one who knows how to interact as opposed to bashing everything. I want my work to be musical.”Comment on this story
That musicality will be on display Saturday night, as the Chick Corea Trio brings to the stage the best of jazz. In so many ways, Corea is jazz, and for Hanks, having him in Salt Lake is a gift.
"This concert will not disappoint," he said. "It’s truly a rare opportunity to see one of the greatest musicians of our time perform here in Salt Lake City."
If you go …
What: Chick Corea Trio
When: Saturday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South
How much: $39.50 for adults, $10 for students with valid ID