May, 2009

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

May 2009



Welcome to the May issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter.

Radio Review

on NPR’s Fresh Air

npr Ran’s new album of solo piano, Driftwoods, continues to generate positive press. The latest piece is jazz critic Kevin White’s April 22 review for NPR’s Fresh Air, which bears the headline “Ghosts in the Piano.” An excerpt:

“Blake is special, combining influences that don’t quite fit: Bill Evans’ gauzy harmonies meet Thelonious Monk’s stubborn pace and percussive hammering. Blake peppers his surreal improvisations with blues and gospel licks; he loves those African-American musics for the deep feeling interpreters bring to them, like on “There’s Been a Change.”

You can read or listen to the full review here.

Summer Course Nears

on Louis and Ella

posterRan is teaching a three-week summer course at the New England Conservatory on the music of jazz giants Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Composer/conductor and former NEC President Gunther Schuller will be the course’s keynote speaker.

The course runs from July 12 through August 2 and includes a free evening open to the public at NEC on July 31 with performances and interviews.

Please visit NEC’s page on the course for more detailed info. You can also contact NEC Summer School Director Margaret Ulmer at (617) 585-1130 or or get in touch with Ran at

New Show Added in NYC June 13

Bleecker Street Theater

liveRan will perform at the Bleecker Street Theater in New York City on Saturday, June 13.

The show, which Ran has titled “La Copa,” will include solo segments as well as duets with guests Sara Serpa (voice), Aaron Hartley (trombone) and David “Knife” Fabris (guitar). Ran and Co. will play pieces from Driftwoods as well as Ran’s new composition “Obama.”

The theater is located at 45 Bleecker St., and the 8 p.m. show is in the theater’s Green Room, which seats up to 150 people. Tickets are $21.50, and you can order them on line here. For more information, call (212) 260-8250.

WGBH Interview/Performance

stream it

Ran’s March 18 interview and solo performance on WGBH Radio’s “Eric in the Evening” is now available for streaming here. The show lasts nearly an hour, and Ran gives a strong performance. You can download the program here.

New Photo

Ran at NEC

classThis photo by Andrea Shea accompanied Andrea’s profile of Ran on WBUR radio from early April.

If you haven’t ordered your copy of Driftwoods yet, you can do so through, Amazon, Tompkins Square, and other retailers. You can also download it from iTunes.

Thanks for reading. As always, you can reach Ran directly at, and you can read back issues here.

We’ll see you in June.
Vol. 5, No.5