9 Pianists album cover
MEGAWAVE Records MEGW 0252
iTunes link
Mr. B assembles a group of nine noted Ann Arbor-area pianists for this benefit album to support youth in the arts and athletics. Starting off with Grammy-award winning William Bolcom, this album includes tracks performed by Waleed Howrani, Al Hill, Glenn Persello-Seefeld, Mr. B, Rick Roe, Tad Weed, Ellen Rowe, and James Dapogny. Proceeds will help build a specially designed bicycle that Mr. B will use to pull a 352 pound piano across the State of Michigan, raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and encourage schools and youth groups along his route to collect pledges for every mile he travels to raise funds for their critically needed music and physical education programs. Listeners are also beneficiaries, as the players deliver the goods, whether through their original compositions or fresh takes on piano standards.


9 Pianists - Our Town, Our Time
A Benefit Album to Support Youth in the Arts and Athletics
The impetus for this project comes from the union of two unrelated notions.
First, I've long thought that, for a town of its size, Ann Arbor has an unusual abundance of fine pianists, and it would be fun for all of us to engage in a project together. Beyond the sheer joy of playing together, I always thought that there could be some larger value that we could realize from a collaboration.
Second, I have been daydreaming for over 25 years about a wild project that, if realized, might attract attention and help others in a tangible way.
The dream is this - I want to pull a piano (352 lbs.) behind a specially designed bicycle across the State of Michigan. I will solicit pledges on a per-mile basis. Along the way I will also stop to play in various places, and the funds I raise will support Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition, I would contact schools along my route and have them help me encourage youth groups to collect pledges for every mile I travel to raise funds for critically needed music and physical education programs that they are involved with.
The intersection of these two ideas was inspired by William Bolcom, the first pianist I approached about a concert of Ann Arbor pianists. He suggested that any funds from our concert should support a worthy cause. I agreed. We parted ways, and, a week or so later, it hit me - I could combine these two projects if the other pianists were willing to donate their efforts to help underwrite the bike trip.
What a pleasure it was to approach these pianists with my idea, and to witness their instant, generous endorsement. I'm honored to be part of this group. My most profound thanks go to each of them for supporting me with their amazing talents and a minimum of skepticism.
I would also like to thank Deanna Relyea and her staff at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, who generously donated their space for the two nights we performed and recorded on their magnificent Steinway Model C piano. Thanks also to John Palmer of Megawave Records in Lansing, MI, for donating his time and expertise to record and produce this CD.
Finally, my sincere thanks to all of you for purchasing this recording. All proceeds from the sale of this recording will benefit the bike project and all the charities we involve.
Thanks and enjoy,
Mark Lincoln Braun (Mr. B)
November 2007
1 Graceful Ghost 4:02
composed & performed by William Bolcom
2 The Entertainer in Beirut 3:41
composed by Scott Joplin, arranged & performed by Waleed Howrani
3 Who's to Blame 5:54
composed & performed by Al Hill
4 Pure Imagination 5:19
composed by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley (Taradam Music), performed by Glenn Persello-Seefeld
5 My Sunday Best 8:42
composed & performed by Mr. B
6 A Minor Shuffle 4:25
composed & performed by Rick Roe
7 Strayhorn-Ellington Medley 11:35
Prelude to a Kiss composed by I. Gordon, I. Mills & D. Ellington (EMI Mills Music/Famous Music)
Take the "A" Train composed by Billy Strayhorn (Cherry Lane Music OBO Billy Strayhorn Songs & Dimensional Music of 1091)
Lotus Blossom composed by Billy Strayhorn (Tempo Music)
Johnny Come Lately composed by Billy Strayhorn (Cherry Lane Music OBO Billy Strayhorn Songs & Dimensional Music of 1091)
performed by Tad Weed
8 Reminiscence 5:29
composed & performed by Ellen Rowe (Ellen Rowe Music)
9 Today's Blues 3:58
composed & performed by James Dapogny (James Dapogny Music)
53:26 total playing time
Produced by Mark Lincoln Braun & John Palmer
Recorded at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA on May 24 & 25, 2007
except Reminiscence recorded August 10, 1998 at Linden Oaks Studio, Rochester, NY, by Larry Swist
Engineered & Mastered by John Palmer
Layout by John Palmer


9 Pianists Bio



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Last updated August 2, 2021.
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