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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Jazz piano masters Dick Hyman and Derek Smith will perform in concert Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University.
The free concert is part of the ongoing Janet Weis Cabaret Jazz Series, which is made possible by funding from the Weis family.
Dick Hyman and Derek Smith are a unique phenomenon in modern music — a two-piano team of master improvisers who think as one as they offer jazz treatments of show tunes and standard popular songs and, in particular, songs by Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers, Berlin and Warren from the films of the '30s, '40s and '50s. Many are represented in the duo's album, "Dick and Derek at the Movies."
Hyman's credits as a film composer include "Moonstruck" and numerous Woody Allen film scores. He has written scores for numerous PBS programs and original music for Twyla Tharp and the American Ballet Theatre. A frequent performer as well, he appears solo and with various orchestras and ensembles. He has been artistic adviser and frequent performer at the annual Jazz in July festival at the 92nd St. Y in New York and at the Oregon Festival of American Music. In earlier years, he was music director for In Performance at the White House.
A pianist, organist, arranger, music director and composer during a musical career that began in the '50s, Hyman has more than 100 albums recorded under his own name. Winner of seven Most Valuable Player Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, he was music director for television programs including Benny Goodman's final appearance on PBS and a PBS special on Eubie Blake. He is a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and the New Jersey Jazz Society.
Smith, a native of England, played with British bandleader Johnny Dankworth before arriving in New York, where he played in Doc Severinsen's "Tonight Show" band for seven years.
He also served as Benny Goodman's pianist, was musical director of the CBS television program, "Musical Chairs," and performed in the soundtracks of the films "The Glass Menagerie," "The Wiz," "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Everyone Says I Love You." He and Hyman are heard as a team in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway."
Active in TV and recording, he was soon recognized as one of New York's top studio musicians performing with a who's who of show business from Sinatra to Pavarotti, from Placido Domingo to Perry Como and Robert Palmer.
His trio's album "Love For Sale" was nominated for a Grammy award. He has made three tours of Japan and recently returned from a tour of the British Isles with the Benny Goodman Alumni Band.
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