Enjoy two nights of jazz this weekend

Topnotch musicians coming to the area is nothing new; however, seeing prominent jazz musicians Euan Stevenson and Konrad Wiszniewski in local non-conventional settings is quite unique.
John Benson
Oct 30, 2012

Want to go?
WHAT: Two Nights of Jazz with the Konrad Wiszniewski/Euan Stevenson Duo
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3
WHERE: Sandusky Community Church of the Nazarene (formally IAB Club), 1617 Milan Road, Sandusky on Nov. 2 & Norwalk First United Methodist Church, 60 W. Main Street, Norwalk on Nov. 3
TICKETS: $20 adults/$10 students
INFO: 419-660-0533 or 419-668-8233 (ask for concert ticket sales)

That’s what’s happening when the Geotrac Charitable Foundation brings the two Scottish artists in for fundraising shows Nov. 2 at the Sandusky Community Church of the Nazarene (formally IAB Club) and Nov. 3 at the Norwalk First United Methodist Church.

“Euan Stevenson plays classical piano and has created one of the most swinging jazz piano trios working in the United Kingdom,” said Mary Tester, a volunteer for the Valor Academy fundraising committee and member of Norwalk First United Methodist. “He’s coming along with one of his band mates Konrad Wiszniewski, who specializes in saxophone.”

Conjuring the joyous swinging lines of Oscar Peterson, the rhapsodic work of George Shearing and the lyrical beauty of Bill Evans, Stevenson combines classical technique with mastery of the jazz piano tradition.

He’s known to improvise arrangements by composers such as Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. The Euan Stevenson Trio has performed at private parties hosted by Prince Charles, Sir Richard Branson and Earl Spencer.

“They have a new album just released called ‘New Focus’ and they’ll be performing some of their own music from that album,” Tester said. “They’re also going to be performing some familiar Scottish pieces. I don’t want to call them folk songs, but traditional Scottish music.”

Both Stevenson and Wiszniewski visited the area two years ago spending time with music students in Norwalk City Schools. This time, the week after their shows, they’ll return to Norwalk City Schools and also add the Sandusky City Schools to where they’ll be giving instruction.

As for the concerts, each acts as a fundraiser. The first is for Valor Academy, which has schools in both Sandusky and Norwalk. The education institution is designed to help kids who have been struggling in school and may be on the verge of dropping out. Proceeds from the second show will be helping Norwalk First United Methodist Church restore its building’s dome.

Both venues offer seating in the 300 to 400-person range, with Tester hoping for, if not full sellouts, then heavily attended shows.

“People should come out because it’s a very unique opportunity, and we don’t know if they’ll be back in the area again,” Tester said. “Also, it goes towards very good causes. This is the third fundraising event we’ve had with Geotrac sponsoring but this is the first time we’ve done a concert. So if we have a really good turnout, and it’s something that looks like the people like to see, we’ll look forward to doing it again.”