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Joe Alterman and Houston Person

Neranenah Presents: The Joe Alterman Trio with Houston Person on December 16

December 1, 2021

Please Note: For the safety of artists and patrons, Neranenah asks that all attendees wear a mask to this performance.

The holidays are the quintessential time to get together with family and friends. Ticket holders for the upcoming Neranenah Presents: The Joe Alterman Trio with Houston Person will not only hear an evening of great music, they’ll witness the reunion of two very dear friends, whose friendship has a very sweet story.

Sandy Springs native and Neranenah Executive Director Joe Alterman grew up listening to Houston Person’s recordings, considering the bona fide jazz legend as one of the greatest tenor saxophone players. As a young pianist, Alterman would play along with Person’s recordings, imagining himself as his accompanist.

Fast forward to Alterman’s college days at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he got the opportunity to live his dream when Person taught a master class at NYU. Alterman was tapped to be Person’s accompanist. Person later requested to play a duet with Alterman and asked him to select the tune. Alterman picked “I Cover the Waterfront,” a rare and beautiful ballad. Person appreciated this unique selection and it was then that their friendship was born.

Over the years they stayed in touch, as Alterman attended Person’s gigs around New York and the friendship evolved into a mentorship which led to Person returning to NYU to play Alterman’s senior recital with him. In 2015, he produced and appeared on Alterman‘s “Georgia Sunset” album.

“In addition to knowing literally thousands of songs and being able to interpret them more beautifully than perhaps anyone alive today, Houston knows the lyrics and the history behind them all,” Alterman said. “And he has taught me so much about how to best inform my interpretations of these songs. Houston Person is a true national treasure and his incredible sound is truly one of my very favorites!" 

These two old friends will appear together on the Byers Theatre stage on Thursday, Dec. 16 for an evening program that will combine holiday music along with the “Great American Songbook” standards, those popular and enduring tunes from the 1920s to the 1960s that were created for Broadway theatre, musical theatre, and Hollywood musical film, along with the stories behind the songs.

Looking ahead to another upcoming Neranenah production, mark your calendars for an evening with Michael Feinstein on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Tickets for these shows, plus others can be found at citysprings.com.

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