Friday, May 2, 2008

ELIXIR at the Freight House presents pianist MICHAEL ARNOWITT and bassist DAVID WESTPHALEN - Thurs. May 8th




Thursday, May 8th  


ELIXIR at the Freight House, White River Junction’s premier destination for fine dining and live music, continues its presentation of exceptional jazz pairings with a rare Upper Valley appearance by internationally acclaimed pianist/composer MICHAEL ARNOWITT performing with bassist DAVID WESTPHALEN on Thursday, May 8, 2008 from 6:30 to 9:30pm.  Arnowitt, who recently returned from a European tour, was the subject of an award-winning documentary “Beyond 88 Keys.”  Call ELIXIR at 802-281-7009 for reservations.


Pianist Michael Arnowitt is well known for his musical creativity and his innovative jazz concert programs.  He has performed jazz in clubs and concert halls in Russia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic, where he performed at the famed Reduta Jazz Club as part of the 29th Prague International Jazz Festival.  Having just returned from a European tour, he has plans for another tour in March-April 2009.  An award-winning documentary film about his life and music, “Beyond 88 Keys,” was released in 2004 and has been shown at various festivals and venues in the US and abroad and was also broadcast twice on public television.  His solo piano recording Classical/Jazz on the national Musical Heritage Society label explores the mutual influence of jazz and classical music throughout the twentieth century.  


In addition to leading an active life as a performer, the Montpelier resident has helped to build the jazz infrastructure in his part of the country, providing performance opportunities for other musicians and uniting performers from different states in collaborative projects, including tributes to Ella Fitzgerald and Art Blakey.  In September 2000 Michael was the artistic director of the Vermont Millennium Music Festival, a four-day event featuring 24 concerts which presented, in chronological order, music from the year 1000 to the year 2000.  As part of this festival he traced the evolution of jazz through history in a concert that included the rarely-heard original Paul Whiteman jazz band version of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”   Michael has performed with many of Vermont’s top jazz musicians, and in 2001 he co-founded the Green Mountain Jazz Series, which sponsors an annual jazz concert series and organizes a variety of jazz-related special events.  A recent compositional effort is the intriguing, full concert-length jazz suite entitled “The Five Chinese Elements,” written with bassist Anthony Santor and drummer-percussionist Steve WienertFor more information, visit


David Westphalen is a well-known bassist, trombonist and bandleader in the Upper Valley.  For many years his band Swing Machine has performed at dances, Dartmouth College functions, weddings and other private events around northern New England.  After graduating with a major in music from Tufts University, he taught high school music in Vermont for two years.  David currently plays bass with a number of Vermont-based musicians, including Fred Haas, Michael Zsoldos, Bob Merrill and Dave Ellis.  He also works with several small combos, including a duo with guitarist Billy Rosen, and occasionally sings jazz standards.  David plays trombone with the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band, based in Brattleboro, as well as the seven-piece, traditional jazz band The Almost Legendary Thundering Muskrats. 


Located at The Freight House, 188 S. Main Street, White River Junction, VT (802-281-7009), ELIXIR Restaurant and Lounge presents eclectic fare and small plates and features special martinis, local beers, an international wine list and live music nightly.  Eat, laugh & drink. 



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