Joel Martin fuses classical and jazz piano


Purists may try to keep classical and jazz music separate, but composer-pianist Joel Martin thinks differently.

“To me it’s all just music and I don’t see them as that different,” he said. “I don’t know why we have to create these divisions and categories.”

Martin is an award-winning concert and jazz pianist. The idea of his show “Jazzical” came when he realised that he would start playing jazz riffs whilst rehearsing classical music.

“All those old composers would constantly improvise on their works when they played them,” he said. “It’s just a continuation of making music. We can only imagine what some Bach or Beethoven pieces would sound like if jazz and African rhythms had been introduced to Europe back in the 1600s.”

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He has been a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Delaware Symphony.

“My mind set is to think of what would interest a 12-year-old,” he said. “If you don’t get his attention in two or three minutes, you’ve lost him. So I pick song-oriented pieces.”

Read the full article: For composer-pianist, ‘It’s all just music’