Desert Island Jazz
Roberta Piket (2006)

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In the time since Roberta Piket returned to her native New York, the pianist/composer has played professionally as a sidewoman with David Liebman, Rufus Reid, Michael Formanek, Lionel Hampton, Mickey Roker, Billy Mintz, Harvey Wainapel, Eliot Zigmund, Benny Golson and the BMI/NY Jazz Orchestra and has twice been a featured guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, on National Public Radio. It is in her work as a composer and bandleader, however, that the depth of Roberta's talent becomes most evident.

Roberta, who holds a B.S. in Computer Science which she earned concurrently with her music degree, turned away from a future as a software engineer after a year in that field to pursue an inevitable path in creative music. A gifted composer, Roberta placed second in the first annual Thelonious Monk BMI Composers' Competition.

Roberta's trio has toured Japan and Spain as well as the U.S. She has performed her music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the Earshot Festival in Seattle, at the Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival, and in New York at Small's, the Blue Note Club, Birdland, the Knitting Factory and the Kitano.

Roberta's CDs frequently make the "best of" lists of the major jazz magazines. Whether performing her original compositions or highly personalized reworkings of standards, Roberta's daring rhythmic modulations and vast harmonic expansiveness set a new standard for the piano trio. "September of Tears", released in Japan, finds Roberta joining forces with Rufus Reid and Billy Hart for an adventurous program of originals and reworked standards. A new release features the virtuosic gifts of Roberta's new trio: bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Billy Mintz. A new release features the virtuosic gifts of Roberta's new trio: bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Billy Mintz. This working group has toured the West coast during the past two autumns and performs regularly in New York.

Roberta's Nabokov Project sets five poems by Vladimir Nabokov to music for piano, violin, mezzo-soprano with percussion, and speaker. It blends neo-classical harmonic concepts with lush melodies and free improvisational sections.

Roberta's recordings have earned rave reviews in JazzTimes, downbeat, the Washington Post, Piano & Keyboard, and Jazziz, as well as other publications. A musical pioneer in more ways than one, Roberta was the first and only woman leader with a release on the Criss Cross label (the 1997 Unbroken Line).

Roberta's electric band, Alternating Current,"boasts a retro-futurist vibe", according to the Village Voice. Exploring a new sonic palette with a vintage Wurlitzer electric piano, Roberta brings her harmonically adventurous sensibility and serpentine lines to a supremely grooving experimental quartet. The group has toured six states and performed in several festivals.

Roberta maintains an active schedule as an educator. She has held master classes at the Eastman School of Music (where she performed solo and in duo with Marian McPartland), Rutgers University, Cal Arts, Duke University, the Northwestern University Composers' Colloquium, and many others in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She has coached ensembles at Long Island University, has several private students, has served as a panelist for the Queens Council on the Arts grant review process and has taught at the Litchfield Jazz Camp and the Vermont Jazz Center. She is also the author of the Muse-Eek Publishing.

Roberta occasionally performs on B3 organ, playing at clubs such as Harlem's Showman's. She has also written several big band compositions, three of which are in the repertoire of the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra. In May of 2004 Roberta was selected by Steve Lacey as an associate artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and formed the new music trio Fragments with Eric Clarke and Scott Hill. She plays in a free improvisation trio with drummer Billy Mintz and alto saxophonist Mark Reboul, and occasionally sings and plays standards at senior citizen homes in the New York area.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 John Gross and Billy Mintz Beautiful You Flight (Origin)
# 2 Béla Bartók Concerto for Orchestra and Four Orchestral Pieces Chicago Symphony conducted by Pierre Boulez Konzert für Orchester, Sz. 116 (Deutsche Grammophon)
# 3 Coral MacFarland Thuet Abriendo Puertas Aquel Seńor (InnerFocusMusic)
# 4 Bill Evans Paris Concert, Edition Two Nardis (Blue Note)
# 5 Alex Coke Iraqnophobia/Wake Up, Dead Man Wake Up, Dead Man (Vox Lox)
# 6 Mike Garson Now! Music (Volume IV) Now 41 (Garson & Associates)
# 7 Dottie Grossman and Michael Vlatkovich Call and Response In the Canyons Below/In the Evening/Three Henny Youngman Poems/Dear Terre Haute (pfMENTUM)
Book Vladimir Nabakov, "Pale Fire"
Luxury Item "My Steinway A3 piano", or a combination facial/massage-therapist service, or good walking shoes
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