At Play, Two Greats: Mehldau and Redman Honor A Jazz Anniversary at The New School

Mehldau and Redman play to a sold-out crowd at Tishman Auditorium. Photo by Scott Wynn Photography.

During its 25 years of existence, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music has been intimately connected with the best of the New York jazz scene. This was powerfully evident on Saturday, October 15, when two of the most influential jazz artists of their generation, alumnus Brad Mehldau ’93 and Joshua Redman, came to campus for a spectacular evening concert as part of Jazz’s 25th anniversary.

In their only New York City appearance, the duo appeared for an intimate and highly improvisational performance without accompaniment that drew on more than 20 years of friendship.

It’s an honor to be playing with Brad at New School Jazz’s 25th anniversary,, said Redman. I’ve learned so much over the years from so many of my friends and colleagues who went there that sometimes I almost feel like an alum myself.,

Mehldau and Redman both came of age in the 1990s New York jazz scene. Redman arrived in New York straight out of college and almost immediately began jamming and gigging regularly with leading musicians of his generation, including alumni Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, and Roy Hargrove, to name just a few. Mehldau, who was attending The New School at the time, was the pianist on Redman’s first major recording; other Jazz alumni, including Bernstein, Aaron Goldberg, and Sam Yahel, have all played on Redman’s recordings over the years. Mehldau himself began recording and performing extensively in the early 1990s and has continued at a steady pace ever since. In addition to working on trio and solo projects and spending several years with Redman’s band, he has collaborated with such greats as Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, and Lee Konitz and with fellow New School alumni.

We tell our students that they stand on the shoulders of giants, the jazz icons who have come before them and led the way,, said Martin Mueller, executive director of New School Jazz. Joshua and Brad have been connected through our school from our first generation of graduates and have given the art form an expanded language, inspiration, and expression and a contemporary relevance.,

New School Jazz’s anniversary celebration continues through the fall. Upcoming events include performances by faculty member Chris Stover, dedicated to the music of Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso (October 26); Amir Ziv with Mannes faculty member James Baker (November 8); Jane Ira Bloom (November 17); and Amy London with Annie Ross and Mark Murphy (December 14). In collaboration with the Jazz Museum of Harlem, the school is also presenting an interview series with faculty members Billy Harper (November 3) and Hal Garper (December 1).

For more information, visit the New School Jazz website.