Exhilarating jazz pianist/improviser Marilyn Lerner performs to acclaim internationally, from her native Montreal to Havana, from Jerusalem to Amsterdam and the Ukraine. Her groundbreaking recordings have garnered recognition, including “Best Western Jazz Recording 2004” for her “Special Angel” duo with legendary guitarist Sonny Greenwich.
Lerner’s work spans the worlds of jazz, creative improvisation, klezmer and 20th century classical music. She composes for film, theatre, radio and television. She produced “Birds Are Returning”, the first contemporary Canadian jazz recording to come out of Cuba, playing her compositions with greats Dafnis Prieto, Yosvanny Terry and Jane Bunnett.
Along with her innovative solo piano work, Lerner tours with The Queen Mab Trio (clarinettist Lori Freedman and Dutch violist Ig Henneman) across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Their fall 2006 European tour included the prestigious Wels XX Music Unlimited Festival in Austria. Marilyn also performs with Sonny Greenwich, the Mad Satie Trio (Andrew Downing, David Occhipinti), Nick Frasier and Matt Brubeck, Lou Grassi and Ken Filiano, and in the Jewish scene with Adrienne Cooper, Frank London, Alicia Svigals, From Both Ends of the Earth, and David Wall. She has appeared with Steve Lacy, Tito Puente, Michael Vatcher and Gerry Hemingway.
Lerner’s original music has garnered the Montreal International Jazz Festival award for best composition. Her audio art collages have been broadcast internationally. A recent commission by CBC in honour of composer Dmitri Shostakovitch’s 100th birthday entitled “Meditations on Mitya” was performed by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and in November 2006.
A prolific recording artist, her most recent work includes the independently produced “Romanian Fantasy”, a solo recording of improvisations on traditional Eastern European Jewish music recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio at CBC Toronto, “Thin Air” (WIG) the Queen Mab Trio’s new release based on Hector Berloiz’ Queen Mab Scherzo, “Luminance” (Ambiences Magnetiques), solo improvised piano music using different microphone techniques, “Special Angel” (C.B.C. records), duo with jazz guitar legend Sonny Greenwich, and, with singer David Wall, “Still Soft Voiced Heart” (Traditional Crossroads), original settings of contemporary Yiddish poetry.
Lerner conducts workshops on improvisation and on Jewish music throughout North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union. Current projects include both a recording and performances of “Shake My Heart Like a Copper Bell”, Lerner’s contemporary Yiddish song cycle on the poetry of Anna Margolin, scored for piano, cello, clarinet and singer Adrienne Cooper, for which she received a Hadassah-Brandeis research award, ongoing collaborations with poet Patrick Friesen, a new trio project with cellist Matt Brubeck and drummer Nick Fraser and numerous solo concerts.