Jordan Strauss, Invision
Renee Rosnes, left, and Bill Charlap arrive at the 58th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Los Angeles.
SALT LAKE CITY — Two of the premier pianists of the jazz world, husband and wife Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, will open the 24th year of the Jazz SLC concert series, on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Capitol Theatre.
Joining forces for their first appearance in the series, Charlap and Rosnes will perform music from their first collaborative album, “Double Portrait.”
“It’s a big deal for us to open the series,” Charlap said by phone from the couple’s New Jersey home. “Renee and I are excited to bring work from our first collaborative album to the Salt Lake audience.”
“Double Portrait” has received high praise for the almost casual and organic quality exhibited by Charlap and Rosnes. One need only listen to the playful teasing in the duo’s performance of Lyle May’s whimsical composition “Chorinho” to see. It is a beautiful marriage of jazz and classical music infused with the energy of two pianists who are extraordinarily simpatico.
The genesis for this album dates back to the couple’s first encounters with each other.
“It’s interesting how we met,” Charlap said. “We’d known about each other for a long time. Then in 2003, we were touring Japan as part of a program that featured 10 well-known pianists.”
“We got to know each other as friends and the relationship blossomed into something else,” Rosnes said, completing the thought.
If the idea of working, living and traveling daily with one’s spouse sounds overwhelming, it’s not the case with Charlap and Rosnes. Together they compose, arrange, live, tour and breathe jazz music.
“We’re pretty much inseparable,” Rosnes said. “Even when we’re at home between concerts, we relax by playing music on the two Steinways we have facing each other in the living room.”
“I guess it doesn’t surprise me that we first connected through our music,” Charlap said. “I used to listen to the radio and I’d hear this amazing piano player and I’d ask who it was. Almost invariably, the guys…