PIANO BY NATURE is CELEBRATING the END of SEASON 13 in a BIG WAY with TWO FREE CONCERTS in TWO UNIQUE LOCATIONS!
Piano By Nature is thrilled to announce that the final concerts of a challenging yet incredibly rewarding concert season, Press Play on Season 13, will indeed go LIVE in June! On June 5th and 6th, PBN will be returning to our traditional format of a two-concert live weekend extravaganza, this time adding unique venues in two different locations in the North Country. And for these concerts, we are featuring none other than one of PBN’s most popular artists—Three-Time World Championship Old-Time Piano Player Ethan Uslan. These awesome and FREE concerts are our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all of our patrons who have supported us during these difficult times- and a perfect way to celebrate the return of live music in our community!
And if you haven’t seen or heard Ethan yet, your future is already looking brighter! His combination of stunning piano chops, wry wit, and storytelling will leave you completely in awe. His program will be one-of-a-kind, and uniquely crafted for these PBN concerts. We are all beyond excited to have him join us for this special occasion and can’t wait for these terrific events to arrive. So while you wait, read a little about his fascinating journey as a self-proclaimed raconteur, and listen to a few of his juicy clips. This will be a good introduction to Ethan and will certainly whet your whistle for seeing him dazzle LIVE in both upcoming North Country shows. We look forward to seeing you there!
Some examples of Ethan’s playing:
- Fur Elise Ragtime https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTxr-BM70CA
- Bluin’ The Danube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdYxpWIXYCc
- Oh Suzanna https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt50vBDA3Jo
- Georgia on my Mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7v7pzTu7gw
- Mozart ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igWkHHsNpi8
On Saturday, June 5th at 3PM, Ragtime King and story-teller ETHAN USLAN will appear in the Pavilion-Behind-The-Museum (aka, the Farmer’s Market Area) on Hand Avenue in Elizabethtown, NY. The concert will be family-oriented, free, and most importantly- FUN! Bring some chairs and come out to celebrate with us. There will be plenty of room for picnics and dancing, and a roof in case of rain. We hope to have a great turnout, so please tell all of your friends and bring the kids! We will also have activities for children of all ages. And balloons!
For this concert, we are very fortunate to have this beautiful venue provided courtesy of the Adirondack History Museum and we cannot thank them enough for their help in making this concert beautiful and special.
To keep everyone safe we will be following up-to-date NYS guidelines and protocols for both concerts, and we will share this information on our website and at the concert.
On Sunday, June 6th, Ethan will be playing another family concert at 3PM—this time at the Plattsburgh Champlain Centre Mall. It will take place in the center of the mall between Rawson Family Pianos, the kinetic sculpture, and JC Penney. Again, we are very fortunate to have the generosity of Rawson Family Pianos for the donation of one of their featured acoustic pianos for the event, and the Champlain Centre Mall for allowing us the space to make this Plattsburgh concert a reality. Thank you both for being a part of our celebration!
While Zoom links are not needed for this event, we’ll be sure to send you a reminder and updates via email if you’ve signed onto our email list. And donations are still being accepted to help defray the costs. Reservations are not needed—we just ask that you come out and share our joy in live performance again. If you cannot attend a live performance, we will be sure to film one of them and post it on the PBN website for those near and far to view for a two-week period. And we are absolutely sure that you will want to watch Ethan more than once…
Ethan Uslan is one of Piano by Nature’s most popular artists, and recently we had a little conversation about this—and a few other things…
An Interview With Rose, the “Roving Reporter of the ‘Rondacks”
R: Ethan, the concert is in two months. Do you know what you are going to play?
E: Not exactly! But I definitely want to play a few classical melodies in ragtime style, some New Orleans style tunes, and a pretty ballad or two. Lately I have been on a May Aufderheide kick. She was a wonderful ragtime composer that most people don’t know about, so I look forward to spreading some May Aufderheide awareness.
R: And what have you been doing during the ‘break’ that you’d like to share with us?
E: During the first few months of “the break” I mostly agonized, despaired and gained weight. I even lost my motivation to play piano. But eventually I started walking 8 miles a day, and that’s when things started turning around. Now I’m in better physical and psychological shape And I’m back to practicing piano every day and enjoying it. I’m also fortunate that my wife and kids have been resilient and have weathered the pandemic with aplomb.
R: What is your piano practice routine like?
E: I don’t do exercises or scales, life is too short! I mostly take the songs that I’m working on and try to make them sound good. I play them over and over again and try different things. When I stumble upon an idea I like, I try to remember what I did and write it down, so I can do it again when I have an audience. When I stumble upon a bad idea I make a mental note not to do it again. I also like to learn jazz recordings by ear, and try to incorporate the “riffs” into my own playing.
R: If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why?
E: Holy mackerel, that sounds like a Groundhogs Day nightmare scenario! I would certainly get sick of whatever song I chose. So it would probably be best to play something really short like “Shave and a Haircut.” Then I could move on and play whatever I truly felt like playing in the moment. And it would be different most days – variety is the spice of life.
R: If you wrote a book about your career so far, what would you title it?
E: Well, the ship has sailed for “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” as I am now 41. There have been stretches where “On the Road” would be accurate. But in all seriousness, I do feel very fortunate that I have been able to make a career out of something I love doing, so I would want the title to reflect that. Maybe “Joy Luck Club” because I feel lucky and joyful to be in this “club?”
R: How do you feel about Ragtime?
E: Yes, I do love ragtime and let me tell you some reasons why. It’s got a beat, a pulse, something that you can tap your foot to or dance to (if you wish). Also, in terms of its complexity, it’s not overly brainy, yet not overly cheesy, to me its “just right.” And another thing: ragtime and jazz are distinctly American, and that appeals to me. For some reason, that makes me feel more connected to it. I suppose it’s a part of our heritage in a way the Beethoven and Mozart are not. Also, ragtime is very solo piano-oriented in a way that other genres are not. You don’t need other instruments to make it sound good. When it comes to ragtime, one piano and one pianist is all you need. And did I mention the melodies tend to be very catchy? That helps too. I could list more reasons but that’s probably enough for now.
R. What do you like most about the Adirondacks?
E: The people! I have come up several times and have kept in touch with some of the friends I have met there. I also enjoy “Michigans” which I cannot seem to find in North Carolina. And now that I have become an avid walker, I really look forward to getting some superb nature-walking while in town.
We can’t wait to see you on June 5th and/or 6th and look forward to experiencing these very special events together!
THANK YOU ALL FOR A VERY SPECIAL SEASON!