Wilton percussionist returns to Weston High for jazz concert
Published 5:15 pm, Tuesday, January 16, 2018
WILTON — In the last three decades, Arthur Lipner has made his mark in the music world as an internationally renowned percussionist and composer. Since he was 14 years old, he has performed in 25 countries, played on almost 50 albums and presented hundreds of workshops at universities and music schools worldwide.
And on Feb. 9, the Wilton musician will make his highly anticipated return to Weston High School for a jazz benefit concert, after graduating in 1976.
Lipner will be joined by several other alumni who’ve also pursued music careers.
“Some of us that will be on stage have become quite successful in the business,” Lipner said. “And we want to share our excitement, that began at the high school and has moved through decades of our professional careers, with the community.”
Lipner will also share the stage with Weston High School’s jazz ensemble, wind ensemble and chorus, as well as a few special guests. They will perform some of his original compositions, such as “Mallet Fantasia,” which he co-wrote with fellow Wilton musician Jens Wendelboe about a decade ago.
He is especially excited about this portion of the concert, as the arrangement has only been performed with a wind ensemble and choir one other time at the world premiere in Wisconsin, Lipner said.
“I’ve traveled a lot and do these types of concerts all over the world but rarely in my neck of the woods,” he said.
The bulk of the program will consist of Lipner playing the vibraphones and marimba — instruments he has mastered and has helped include in jazz and popular music. Lipner will bring his own instruments to the concert, since they are still a bit of an anomaly today, he said.
“What people can expect is a very unusually wide spread of styles on vibes and marimba,” Lipner said. “The context of styles are summarized by my experience since I left the high school land in my travels for my musical interests.”
Overall, in addition to fundraising, Lipner hopes the concert will introduce the community to new, unique sounds as well as engage them in his artistic vision. This describes the motivation behind any of his performances and projects, such as the Wilton Steel Community Band, a music group inclusive of all ages and abilities that he started in 2010.
Stephen Blinder, a senior at Weston High School, met Lipner through the band when he joined during its first year. Having played with Lipner for years now, Blinder said the benefit jazz concert Feb. 9 is a night not to be missed.
“I know the audience will not only be amazed by Lipner’s virtuosity but also his ability to make you feel at home and at peace through music,” Blinder said.
“To play with Arthur, who’s gone on to be a jazz legend — that’s something very special and unique for me,” he added.
Tickets are $15 for general admission and $50 for VIP Meet and Greet group rates. Tickets at the door are $20. For advance tickets, call 203-291-1640 or visit whscompany.com. Online sales end two hours before showtime.
“Talking Sticks,” a documentary Lipner was involved in, will also be screened at the high school on Monday, Feb. 5.
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