The music of acclaimed pianist Lafayette Gilchrist draws on the span of jazz history from stride to free improvisation, along with inspiration from hip-hop, funk, and Washington D.C.’s unique go-go sound. Gilchrist showcases his “dazzling breadth and originality” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Portland Conservatory of Music. The solo concert is presented by Dimensions in Jazz.

Giovanni Russonello of The New York Times says, “New Orleans barrelhouse piano, the Impressionism of Ravel and Duke Ellington’s jaggy solo-piano sound form the bedrock of Lafayette Gilchrist’s style at the keyboard. But if there’s one big influence on the way he thinks about rhythm, it’s the deeply swinging ‘pocket’ of a classic go-go beat.”

Gilchrist’s work thrives on making surprising connections between styles and influences, boldly veering from piledriver funk to piquant stride, vigorous swing to hip-hop swagger, contemplative abstraction to deep-bottom grooves. Gilchrist has toured extensively with David Murray, and his compositions have graced the soundtracks of David Simon’s acclaimed series “The Wire,” “The Deuce,” and “Treme.”

He leads the genre-defying ensembles the New Volcanoes and the Sonic Trip Masters All Stars, and along with bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Eric Kennedy, he’s a member of the adventurous collective trio Inside Out. In 2017, Gilchrist was named a Local Legend by Baltimore Magazine, while Baltimore City Paper named Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes as “Best Band.” In 2018 he was chosen as a Baker Artist Award winner. Gilchrist has performed with Cassandra Wilson, Macy Gray, Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, Orrin Evans, Paul Dunmall, Hamid Drake, William Parker, and many more. Gilchrist’s recent albums – 2019’s “Dark Matter” and 2020’s “Now” – landed on numerous critics best of the year lists at National Public Radio, Paste Magazine, Cadence and many others.

Tickets are $20, seniors $15, students $5. The Portland Conservatory of Music is located at 28 Neal St., Portland. For more information, visit

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