Whether reinventing jazz standards, breathing fresh life into classical repertoire, or premiering their own original works, Tre Corda generates a compelling sound all its own. Hailing from ensembles as diverse as Lyle Lovett's Large Band, The Paul Winter Consort and the Boston Pops, these three incredible musicians and composers blend composition and improvisation in new and unexpected ways, using the vocabulary of classical composers like Bartok and Stravinsky, as well as songs and ideas from the worlds of jazz and popular musics. Cellist Eugene Friesen’s dynamic rhythms and incredible array of bowing and plucking techniques, trumpeter Greg Hopkins’s virtuosic leaps and outrageous genre-bending phrases, and pianist Tim Ray’s lyric melodicism and two-fisted pyrotechnics - these are just a few of the ways Tre Corda's music has satisfied and delighted audiences with both jazz and classical expectations.
This disc features writing by all three members, including Tim's new sonic journeys "Once Around the Block", "Nudgy" and of course "Squeaky Toy"; Eugene Friesen's sultry and grooving "ShadowPlay"; and Greg Hopkins' 3 movement opus "Sonata for Trumpet, Cello and Piano".
“Tre Corda brings together an awesome array of talent, performance wisdom and stylistic variations, from classical to pop and jazz. They are world ambassadors.” - Somerville Journal
“(Tre Corda) combined virtuosity and intelligence in two sets of original compositions and arrangements...winning in their rhythmic vitality, play of ideas, unexpectedly fine blend and all-round engagement with the music... (playing) rhythms that left Stravinsky and minimalism gasping for breath... That's chamber music, partner.” - Berkshire Eagle
Tim Ray – piano
Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim Ray’s wide-ranging skills as a soloist and accompanist have afforded him the opportunity to perform with legendary performers from all walks of music. Appearing on over 70 recordings to date, Tim has performed in concert with an extensive list of pop music icons, notably Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Jane Siberry and Soul Asylum. He regularly performs with leading figures in the jazz world, among them Gary Burton, Esperanza Spalding, Scott Hamilton, Dave Douglas, Brian Blade, Lewis Nash and Rufus Reid. Tim’s busy schedule has included frequent tours throughout the Americas, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and has included performances at Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Kennedy Center and the 1992 Presidential Inauguration. He is a grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is currently on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music. (AgitatedCatMusic.com)
Eugene Friesen - cello
A graduate of the Yale School of Music where he studied with Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, Eugene Friesen is active internationally as a concert artist, composer, conductor and teacher. In 1995, 2005 and 2006 Eugene won Grammy Awards for musical contributions to three Paul Winter Consort albums, “Spanish Angel,” “Silver Solstice,” and "Crestone." He has worked and recorded with such diverse artists as Dave Brubeck, Toots Thielemans, Betty Buckley, Will Ackerman, Joe Lovano and Dream Theater. Recording credits include six albums of original music: “New Friend”, “Arms Around You”, “The Song of Rivers”, “In the Shade of Angels”, “Sono Miho” and “Colorful Transitions”. Eugene is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. (Celloman.com)
Greg Hopkins - trumpet
Performer, composer, and arranger Greg Hopkins first picked up the trumpet as a boy in Detroit, and to this day it would be hard to spot him without his horn. That symbiosis of man and musical instrument is evident throughout Greg’s career, which began in 1965 freelancing in the Detroit area for such acts as the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight. Greg made a name for himself recording and touring for several years as soloist and arranger for the Buddy Rich Orchestra (he was called “a real find” by the London Times in 1974), but he has also performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Joe Williams and Tony Bennett. A Professor of Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music, Greg has developed and teaches several courses in composition and also directs the prestigious Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra. (GregHopkins.net)