State College’s ‘best kept secret’: Jazz staple Arthur Goldstein shows range with ‘Intersections’

For the CDTJune 14, 2013 

  • IF YOU GO

    What: “Intersections” concert with Arthur Goldstein solo piano performance, Arthur Goldstein Jazz Quartet and Archie Blue

    When: starting at 4 p.m. June 15

    Where: State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College

    Info: www.thestatetheatre.org, 272-0606

State College music lovers are in for a treat this weekend, when local musician/composer and Penn State music history professor Arthur Goldstein will perform a daylong music festival called “Intersections.” For this event, Goldstein will host three performances, including a show with his band, Archie Blue. The miniature festival serves as a cultural event for the community as well as a fundraising event for the State Theatre.

The festival will feature Goldstein’s work in three different genres, a solo piano recital of traditional and 20th-century classical music, a performance of post-bop by his jazz quartet, and a finale by the reunited progressive rock band Archie Blue. For the festival, Goldstein borrowed the title of his second solo CD in 2002 of the same name, “Intersections,” an album that combined classical and jazz elements.

The first performance at 4 p.m. will feature Goldstein on piano, which will include classical pieces such as the “Pathetique Sonata” by Beethoven, Alban Berg’s “Piano Sonata,” Samuel Barber’s “Excursions” and “Ballade No. 1” by Chopin.

At 7 p.m., Goldstein will perform with his jazz quartet, which includes Steve Bowman on saxophone, Jim Robinson on bass and Kevin Lowe on drums.

“My jazz quartet has always been well-received,” Goldstein said. “I feel fortunate to be something of a draw.”

For the finale at 9 p.m., Goldstein will perform with Archie Blue, featuring a handful of covers but mostly original material.

“There’s a new tune we have called ‘Blue Ray,’ which we’re going to debut,” he said. “We’ll also be having a guest cellist sit in named Jonathan Dexter. It’s a lot of stuff from the ‘New Day Comin’ ’ record (released in 1982) but much beyond that as well.”

The band includes Goldstein on piano and lead vocals; Barbara Neumuller on keyboards, clarinet and background vocals; John Raiser on drums, percussion and background vocals; Harry Werner on bass and background vocals; and Christopher Younken on electric guitar and background vocals.

The original idea for “Intersections” came from Goldstein, who partnered with State Theatre director Richard Biever.

“Part of the idea of ‘Intersections’ is the music that falls between the cracks,” Goldstein said. “For example, one movement of the Samuel Barber piece is actually a written-out blues and yet it has a kind of classical form to it. So I’m terribly intrigued by that idea. So that’s another kind of sub-meaning of the title. And on the other hand, you’ll hear some chords from Bach in the Archie Blue recital. So I’m trying to suggest these types of music, which in one way grew up alongside one another, and try to show some spaces where they rub together.”

Originally formed in 1979 and based out of State College, Archie Blue will perform their regular dose of cover songs, though most of their material is original, which comes from the inception of the band 25 years ago.

“The music doesn’t sound dated and even has a renewed freshness because we are playing it with a musical maturity we obviously didn’t have in our youth,” Younken said. “Also, we will be debuting at least one new original which is very exciting for us. For me, the new original really cements the fact that we are back.”

Younken described Goldstein as a true artist, who approaches his craft with the highest level of integrity.

“Arthur doesn’t fake music, he lives for the music — not for money or to be on a stage but to let the audience feel every note as deeply as he does,” Younken said. “I personally believe he is one of State College’s best kept secrets. He is a local music treasure. I know of no one else around here or regionally who can pull off classical, jazz and rock/blues, all at a high level.”

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