Ben Rosenblum Trio to play at the Red Light Cafe on Feb. 5

New York-based Ben Rosenblum Trio will bring their jazz stylings to the Red Light Cafe on Wednesday, Feb 5. at 7 p.m.

Rosenblum began his piano studies at age 5 encouraged by music-loving parents. His favorite part of playing the piano was improvising and he says he spent many hours making up music for self amusement. His mother, a jazz fan, gave him his first album as a gift of encouragement: Keith Jarrett’s Cologne Concerts. Rosenblum knew then there was a name for what he loved to do.

Living in New York allowed him to be exposed to and mentored by some of the best musicians in the world. He showed prodigious talent and won a composition award at 16. He attended Columbia University and took classes at Juilliard. He says he did not want to have his work be defined by a genre. He became a devoted listener of world music and was especially influenced by Klezmer music and the music of the Middle East. He added accordion to his repertoire and started performing regularly.

His first album in 2017 was created with the encouragement of bass player Curtis Lundy, a veteran of New York’s jazz scene who played with Betty Carter. Joining on percussion was Billy Hart, a veteran of Miles Davis’ bands. The album includes songs Rosenblum had written as a teenager that just kept transforming over time. His second album, River City, was influenced by Rosenblum’s travels. He is working on a new album with a sextet that will be released later this year.

Rosenblum has performed all over the US, Europe and Asia. He says that travel has been a humbling experience for him, that wherever he goes he can communicate through music. He has also had the opportunity to collaborate with musicians from other cultures including a koto player in Japan and a meh (bagpipe) player from the islands off Croatia.

His performance at the Red Light is his second in Atlanta. He will be playing standards, his own compositions and even a few songs on the accordion. Joining him will be Dan Chmielinski on bass and Ben Zweig on drums. After the Trio, the Gordon Vernick Quartet hosts their weekly Wednesday night jam.

For tickets visit redlightcafe.com.

Franklin Abbott is an Atlanta psychotherapist, writer and musician.