The 14th annual Water Island Music Festival is set for 8 p.m. on both Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19, at Prior-Jolleck Hall on the Antilles School campus, St. Thomas. Pianist Julian Gargiulo will return for the 14th year repeating a performance of the program he performed on Jan. 12 at Carnegie Hall. There will not be a concert on Water Island this year.
Joining him will be world class musicians, including Maria Yefimova, pianist; Wells Hanley, jazz pianist; Hilary Gardner, jazz singer; Joe Burgstaller, trumpet virtuoso; Dion Parsons, special guest percussionist and this year’s winner of the “Getting to Carnegie” Competition.
Tickets are available at www.Instantseats.com or Chelsea Drugstore in Red Hook, Medicine Shop Pharmacy in Havensight, the Antilles School or Frenchtown Deli.
Julian Gargiulo is a dynamic classical pianist who renders the compositions of renowned masters with extraordinary passion and precision. He has performed in the United States, Canada, England, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, China and Australia, always meeting with public and critical acclaim.
Gargiulo performs regularly throughout the world in halls such as Carnegie Hall (U.S.), United Nations’ Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium (U.S.), Moscow Conservatory Hall (Russia), Verona Philharmonic Hall (Italy), The Esplanade (Singapore) and the Seymour Theatre Centre (Australia). Collaborations include performances with soprano Olga Makarina (Metropolitan Opera), trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller (Canadian Brass), and violinists Elizabeth Zeltser (NY Philharmonic) and Dmitri Berlinsky (Gold Medal Paganini Competition). TV and Radio appearances include stations such as RAI Uno (Italy), RAI Tre (Italy), RAI International (Italy), RTN (Russia), CTV (Canada), Radio One — CBS (USVI), Paradise Radio (USVI) and SBS (Australia).
In 2006 he started the Water Island Music Festival in the Virgin Islands, currently in its 9th season, which brings together classical and jazz musicians for three days of music. In 2008 he founded the non-profit organization 16000children, which brings together musicians, visual artists and filmmakers to create events to raise awareness for the 16,000 children that die of hunger in the world every day. Performances worldwide began in March 2010.
In 2009, Gargiulo was named Artistic Director of “Crossing Borders,” a Hunter College (N.Y.) program that presents established foreign artists currently living in N.Y.
Recent and upcoming highlights include the release of his seventh CD “No Smoking” with his own original compositions as well as works by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Piazzolla and a performance at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall on Jan. 12, 2014. He currently splits his time between New York and Paris.
Hilary Gardner grew up in Wasilla, Alaska, infatuated with New York City. Her stunning recording debut, “The Great City,” is part love letter, which is partly a lament to New York and the big dreams it represents. The album has garnered effusive praise from New York’s jazz critics, including Will Friedwald (Wall Street Journal) and Terry Teachout (Arts Journal, Wall St. Journal).
In 2010, Gardner was chosen by the Frank Sinatra estate to appear as the live, onstage singer in Tony-award winner Twyla Tharp’s “Come Fly Away.” Backed by a 19-piece big band, Hilary sang solos and duets with Frank Sinatra in a performance hailed by critics as “wonderful” (Huffington Post), “elegant” (USA Today), and “terrific” (New York Observer).
She appears regularly at Birdland, in addition to recent performances in New York City at the Café Carlyle, Symphony Space and Jazz at Kitano. She is a frequent soloist with symphonies throughout the United States and has appeared with Connecticut’s Ridgefield Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and New York’s Rochester Philharmonic.
Joe Burgstaller has thrilled audiences throughout the world with his dazzling virtuosity, captivating sensitivity and engaging personality. He tours worldwide as a soloist (30+ appearances this past season in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Hamburg, Bologna, U.S. Virgin Islands and 13 U.S. states) and as a clinician with his groundbreaking masterclasses for all instruments called “Change Your Mind, Change Your Playing.”
He is Distinguished Faculty at The Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University) in Baltimore, Md., where he teaches trumpet and chamber music. Formerly with Canadian Brass (8 years) and the avant-garde Meridian Arts Ensemble (6 years).
He was also one of the all-time most popular soloists at Columbia Artists’ Community Concerts, performing 60 solo concerts every year. His extensive discography includes solo CDs (“License to Thrill” and “The Virtuoso Trumpet”) and three Top-10 Billboard hits. Joe Burgstaller is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
He has performed in front of more than 40 orchestras (Philadelphia, Minnesota, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, New Jersey, Virginia, et al) as a member of Canadian Brass and as a soloist, at more than 50 Music Festivals; he has performed and taught at over 80 universities, conservatories and colleges.
Maria Yefimova, acclaimed pianist, has performed in Italy, Spain, England, Slovakia, Croatia, Russia and the United States. She has appeared at such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Malii and Rachmaninoff Hall, Steinway Hall (NYC), Teatro Puccini di Merano (Italy), Lisinsky Hall (Zagreb), and Slovak Philharmonic Hall, among others.
Yefimova has been featured on Bravo TV network, Tele Monte Orlando (Italy), Paradise Radio (USVI), Slovak National Television, WCVE public radio, as well as on major TV art networks in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Chile. She is a featured artist in a film documentary “Women of Music” – a classical music series that presents performances and interviews with today’s top artists from around the world.
Her festival appearances include Meranofest and Vello Music Festivals in Italy, Rachmaninoff Festival in Russia, Water Island Music Festival in USVI, Chamber Music Institute in Virginia, Lake George Music Festival in N.Y., and Virginia Arts Festival. Yefimova is on the piano faculty of the College of William and Mary.
Wells Hanley is a musician of diverse influence and output whose career spans a broad variety of styles. In addition to his work as a pianist, he is also a singer, drummer, guitarist, songwriter and producer.
As an accompanist, he has collaborated with Betty Carter, Rene Marie, Tom Wopat and Dave Matthews, to name a few. As a jazz instrumentalist, he has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Spoleto Festival in Italy; he has shared the stage with jazz greats such as Dave Liebman, Chris Potter and Wynton Marsalis.
Hanley’s education includes degrees in music in both classical piano from James Madison University and in jazz from Manhattan School of Music, as well as private study with Fred Hersch. He currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University.