Dueling Pianos Gala
This exciting gala performance experience featured Steinway Artist and two-time GRAMMY award nominee, Benito Gonzalez dueling with Cleveland’s own Jackie Warren in a thrilling musical showdown to celebrate the conclusion of Piano Cleveland’s summer festival, PianoDays @CLE.
We are so grateful for the overwhelming generosity of our patrons in making Dueling Pianos a success!
About Benito Gonzalez
Two-time GRAMMY award nominee Benito Gonzalez is an internationally beloved pianist who combines a long lineage of American jazz traditions with rhythms from around the world. He’s worked with dozens of the greats, and he always brings some of the best rhythm section players in the world. Expect to hear an elite trio performing Original music McCoy Tyner classics or even a favorite John Coltrane tune.
Benito is being recognized as an exciting pianist and composer for his well-received debut album ‘Starting Point’ (Christian McBride, Antonio Sanchez, Rene McLean, Ron Blake) in addition to taking home first prize at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition.
Benito’s acclaimed album, Passion Reverence Transcendence Featuring: (Essiet Okon Essiet and Gerry Gibbs), reveals a very personal body of work as he emerges as a leader and an accomplished improviser. Recently, Benito received more critical attention for his work on these great tribute to Music Legend “McCoy Tyner” also received two Grammy Nominations with The Kenny Garrett Quartet, The albums ‘Seeds from the Underground and Pushing The World Away’.
After seven years of touring with Kenny Garrett, Benito has added numerous festivals and international jazz club dates to his credit. In 2019 he joined legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders as a pianist and musical director. Benito also shared the stage with Dave Liebman, Roy Hargrove, Jackie McLean, Gary Bartz, Curtis Fuller, Bobby Hutcherson, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Al Foster, Jeff”Tain”Watts, Lenny White, Billy Hart, Ignacio Berroa, Buster Williams, Victor Bailey, Rene McLean, Steve Turre, Delfeayo Marsalis, Hamiet Bluiett, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Gross, T.K. Blue and Azar Lawrence.
About Jackie Warren
A native of Colorado, pianist Jackie Warren originally came to Ohio upon the recommendations of her teachers Patricia Warren, Myra Boitos, Charles Day, and Steve Barta to study classical piano at Oberlin Conservatory with Sedmara Zakarian Rutstein, where she graduated with a B.M. in performance. While at Oberlin, she also studied jazz arranging, composition, and theory with Wendell Logan, who became a mentor to her, and encouraged her to study jazz piano with Neal Creque and jazz improvisation with Kenny Davis. Jackie received a M.M. from Cleveland State University in classical piano performance, studying with Andrius Kuprevicius and Daniel Barber, but continued her lessons with Creque, and has been based in Cleveland ever since.
Jackie performs regularly as a soloist, but has her own jazz trio, which includes bassist Peter Dominguez and drummer Ron Godale. She also arranges and plays salsa and Latin jazz with percussionist Sammy Deleon y Su Orquesta. In addition to these groups, Jackie has performed locally and nationally with such artists and groups as David Fathead Newman, Benny Bailey, Clark Terry, Frank Morgan, Bobby Watson, Frank Foster, Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Othello Molineaux, Donald Harrison, Gerald Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Impacto Nuevo, Humberto Ramirez, Cano Estremera, Tommy Olivencia, Tony Vega, Tito Rojas, Tito Puente, Jr., Hector Tricoche, Percy Sledge, King Solomon, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and the Afro Cleveland Orchestra.
Jackie can be heard regularly at such local venues as The Velvet Tango Room, Nighttown, and Belinda’s Nightclub, and also on numerous recordings, including Near You and Live at the Wi-Fi Cafe under her own name, Steppin’ Out (Jazz Heritage Orchestra), Salsa con Sabor (Sammy Deleon y suorquesta), Midwest Coast and Into the Night (Josh Rzepka.) Jackie is also an educator and clinician, and has taught jazz arranging and composition and coached jazz combos at Oberlin; she is currently on the Jazz Studies Faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus, where she coaches jazz ensembles, and teaches piano class and private lessons. She is also on the faculty at the Cleveland Music School Settlement.