Piano 2 Piano ~ Salute to Jazz Piano Greats ~ Award~Winning Pianists NOEL FREIDLINE & MARTIN LESCH
November 24 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Noel Freidline is a 1991 graduate of the University of North Florida, BA in Music (magna cum laude). A pianist, vocalist, writer and arranger, Noel has been the leader of his own group since 1991.
In addition to his work with the NFQ, Noel performs regularly with the Charlotte Symphony, both as a featured artist and ensemble member. Noel also performs regularly with touring Broadway shows, most recently “Jersey Boys,” “Bring It On,” “Dream Girls,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “White Christmas,” “Les Miserable,” and “Wicked.” With the NFQ Noel has opened for such diverse artists as Tony Bennett, saxophonist David Sanborn, Kenny G, Rosemary Clooney, pianist Dave Brubeck, vocalist Layla Hathaway, jazz legend Roy Ayers, and vocalist Jennifer Holliday.
Noel was named Best Jazz Musician by Charlotte Magazine in 2006 and in 2009 and was named “Best Musical Director” by the Metrolina Theatre Association of the Carolinas. A dilettante of pop culture, Noel has become a popular lecturer for theatres and museums, creating and presenting multi-media presentations on everything from Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons to Mel Brooks. In 2011 Freidline was chosen for the Blumenthal Performing Arts Association (Charlotte, NC) Center Stage Award in recognition of his excellence in service to the arts.
Noel has been a Lecturer in Music at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte since 2006, teaching such diverse subjects as music business, the history of rock music, jazz arranging, music theory and ear training, and directing the UNCC jazz combo’s as well as the vocal jazz ensemble. He has also maintained a private teaching studio of 35 students per week.
Freidline performs regularly as part of the Ziad Jazz Quartet for Jazz at the Bechtler, a very successful monthly jazz series put on by the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
In August of 2013 Freidline was brought on as artistic director by the Columbia (SC) Museum of Art to create a jazz concert series. January of 2014 Freidline launched Jazz on Main, the CMA’s newest concert series, with an inaugural concert that received rave reviews from a near capacity audience.
Summer of 2014 Freidline became the director of the Lake Norman Big Band, an 18-piece big band founded in 1998 and based out of Mooresville, NC .
In August of 2012 Freidline launched a contemporary music program at Davidson Day School, Davidson, NC. Focusing on teaching contemporary music styles, this is one of three programs like it in the state of North Carolina.
Noel is also currently the music director of non-traditional worship at Providence Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC.
As a composer and arranger, Noel has written and recorded music for ESPN, ABC and the Walt Disney Company, with his most recent work being featured on Monday Night Football, the NBA All-Star Game, and SportCenter. In March, 2012, Noel completed an artist-in-residency program as a teaching artist with the education department of the Charlotte Symphony, composing and conducting several pieces for the Northwest School of the Arts (Charlotte, NC) orchestra and band.
A native of Clearwater, KS, Noel has resided in Charlotte, NC with his wife April and their three children, Aslan, 17, Thaddaeus, 15, and Israella (Izzy), 12, since 2003.
Martin Lesch spent most of his young life growing up in New York City where he was raised in a musical family. He was exposed to a wide array of musical influences from a young age but always harbored a deep affection for jazz. After studying with Richard Sorce at NYU through his teens, he graduated high school early to study at Berklee College of Music before settling back down in New York.
Lured by a ripe music scene for working players, he transplanted to the Southeast where he currently resides on Hilton Head Island, SC. After touring and releasing Cd’s with his own band for five years, he took to producing, musical directing and accompanying various regional and national acts including a long stint with singer/songwriter Angie Aparo, for whom his work was widely acclaimed.
After an encounter with one of the southeast’s iconic jazz figures, Bob Masteller, Lesch was hired to become a regular player at his club, The Jazz Corner, which has now become one of the most regarded venues for jazz musicians in the world. While doing this, Lesch has still found time to be a featured player on various cruise lines and tours, including a residency in China with guitarist Jackson Evans where they played their exciting brand of jazz to sold out audiences for 90 straight days.
Currently, Mr. Lesch is recording his debut solo Cd in the Jazz genre with luminary figures such as Quentin Baxter (drums) and Delbert Felix (bass). He performs regularly at The Jazz Corner, including his popular weekly Journey Through Jazz series where Lesch performs a history of jazz retrospective featuring everything from stride to modern piano technique. He also is an active member of the non-profit Junior Jazz Foundation, which carries out a mission to preserve America’s great art form of jazz by educating children and supplying them with the resources to pursue their talents while also promoting the art form to a larger audience.