Sunday Night Jazz Showcase
Program 24 (June 22 at 11pm)
The classical tradition meets the spontaneity of jazz through the virtuosic playing of Brazil-born and New York-based pianist Eliane Elias. A former member of the jazz ensemble Steps Ahead, Elias has continued to explore two distinct musical streams through her solo recordings and her performances since the mid 1980’s.
Elias may have inherited at least some of her musical talents from her mother, Lucy, a classical pianist who often played jazz records in the family home. After studying for six years at the Free Center of Music Apprenticeship in São Paulo, she continued to study classical technique with Amilton Godoy and Amaral Vieira. By her teens, Elias was composing her own pieces and performing in jazz clubs.
While touring in Europe in 1981, she met jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and was encouraged to travel to New York. Arriving in the Big Apple the following year, she studied privately with Olegna Fuschi at the Juilliard School of Music.
Elias' professional career received a boost when she was invited to join Steps Ahead featuring Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Mike Manieri, and Eddie Gomez. She recorded one album with the group in 1983.
Shortly after leaving Steps Ahead, Elias began collaborating with trumpet player Randy Brecker, whom she subsequently married but later divorced. Their sole duo album, released in 1985, was named after their daughter Amanda. The following year, Elias launched her career as a bandleader. Since then, she's alternated tours with two different trios, one featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gomez and the other featuring drummer Erskine and her current husband, bassist Marc Johnson.
Story courtesy of Allmusic.com