Jazz pianist Lindner to play at Burchfield Penney Art Center

Maris Lambie, Reporter

Charles Lindner, a jazz pianist formerly of the Manhattan Project, has been all over New York and is no stranger to the Buffalo area.

“I’ve played the Town Ballroom a couple times, it was a really cool experience. I’ve played at the Waiting Room, Iron Works, The Sound Lab-which closed but was really cool, Nietzsche’s, Duke’s Bohemian…” Lindner said, listing off some of the places he’s played.

On Sunday, Feb. 28 Lindner will return to Buffalo with drummer Matt Ramerman and upright bass player Kyle Vock for their Warming up Winter show at the Burchfield Penney Art Center next to SUNY Buffalo State. Tickets will be $12 at the door.

For Lindner, it will be his first time playing at the Burchfield Penney.

“I’m excited to see fans and friends from Buffalo, and the acoustics there are amazing,” Lindner said.

Lindner has been performing for over 10 years.

“I’ve been doing it since 2002, but I had never put together a trio like this,” Lindner said. “It’s very similar to what I did in 2003 with The Move, but this is more fusion jazz. I didn’t get the idea to do this until last year.”

Lindner had been involved with electronic music for several years until he decided to return to jazz and described the sudden change as “really weird.”

“This is more me,” Lindner said. “I decided that I’m not going to be a DJ, I’ll play piano instead… I love jazz. I gravitate to the funky stuff and the live aspects of performing.”

Lindner had known Ramerman since grade school and has played live with him on and off for years. “He’s one of the best hired guns around,” Lindner said.

Vock joined the trio at the recommendation of Ramerman.

“I play with musicians better than me,” Lindner said. “They get to put their two cents in and are easy to work with.”

Also working with Lindner is sound engineer Zach Dumrese, promoter Mike Marshall from MNM Presents, and Amanda Lee, who coordinated the event.

Lindner described his shows as being fun and engaging with audience involvement.

“I don’t just sit at the piano and play 15 songs and have that be it,” Lindner said. “I’m taking people on a journey.”

For Warming up Winter, Lindner will be playing classics, contemporary hits as well as his own original pieces.

“I tell stories through my pieces. I write to build a connection.”

Lindner builds a connection by writing about his own personal experiences and the people in his life.

“’Escaping from Mexican Prison’ is about my friend who went to Mexico for a wedding, got blackout drunk and ended up fighting with a bartender. He doesn’t remember any of this, but he was extorted to a real Mexican prison for 15 hours. His girlfriend had to bail him out… I hang out with a lot of interesting people.”

Lindner also builds a connection by covering familiar songs.

“I love performing live, I love going into things that are unexpected. I try to have not only my originals, but to mix in familiar melodies that the audience would know.”

Lindner has big plans for the future. He is currently working on two new albums; one with all original jazz compositions and the second will be jazz with electronic elements. Lindner is also planning on other shows for the next few months.

Tickets for Warming up Winter can be purchases at warmingupwinter.eventbrite.com.

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