Pioneers in the use of four-hands piano in jazz, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi have earned widespread success with their arrangements of classics from the stride piano, ragtime, and boogie woogie traditions, as well as from the Swing Era and the Golden Age of Tin Pan Alley. In recent projects, they have focused on the repertoire created during a time when musicals were at the heart of popular culture: the Classical Hollywood Cinema period and the Golden Age of Broadway, since the songs written between the 1920s and 1960s represent a high point and creative ferment in American popular music. Blending impeccable technique with mature musicality, the piano duo has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia, winning the acclaim of critics and fans alike.
Stephanie Trick (from St. Louis), a leading exponent of stride piano, and Paolo Alderighi (from Milan), one of Italy’s foremost jazz pianists, met at a piano festival in Switzerland in 2008. Three years later, they started to collaborate on a four-hands piano project dedicated to classic jazz, preparing arrangements of songs from the Swing Era, as well as drawing from the ragtime and blues repertoire. Stephanie and Paolo explored the formula of four-hands duets on one piano, rarely used in jazz, in their first two albums, Two for One (2012) and Sentimental Journey (2014). Their partnership continued with Double Trio Live 2015 and Double Trio Always (2016), recorded in the piano trio setting, but with two pianists instead of one. In 2018, they released their first album on two pianos, Broadway and More. Their latest project is a double album, I Love Erroll, I Love James P. (2020), and it features the compositions of two legendary figures of jazz piano, Erroll Garner and James P. Johnson.
The four-hands piano duo has performed in a variety of venues, including the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Jazz at Filoli, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, the Kobe Jazz Street Festival in Japan, the London Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Silkeborg Riverboat Jazz Festival in Denmark, the Bohém Ragtime & Jazz Festival in Hungary, Teatro Dal Verme Milano, Jazzland in Vienna, Jazz Bistro in Toronto, and other jazz clubs.
Both Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi have a background in classical piano. Stephanie graduated cum laude from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Paolo has a degree in Piano Performance from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Italy, and also graduated cum laude from Bocconi University in Management of Arts, Culture and Communication. Since 2008, he has been teaching a course at Bocconi entitled “Music and Society.”
Stephanie and Paolo’s dedication to jazz and the repertoire of early American popular music is accompanied in equal measure by a desire to share its rich history, and they also perform in schools and universities, as they believe in the importance of educational outreach. Their programs range from lectures and concert lessons to master classes for students of all ages, with a focus on various topics, such as “History of Jazz,” “Early American Popular Music,” “Musical Improvisation,” “Blues and Boogie Woogie,” “Ragtime and Stride Piano,” “Music Appreciation,” “Intersections of Jazz and Classical Music,” “Music and Technology,” “Women in Jazz, Ragtime, and Popular Music,” and “History of Broadway and Hollywood.”
They have worked with a variety of institutions, including the following: the Eastman School of Music, the University of Mississippi, the Colburn School (Los Angeles), the University of Santa Barbara, Syracuse University, Tri-North Middle School and Templeton Elementary School (Bloomington, Indiana), Tokyo Nihon University, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Bocconi University (Milan), and others.
“I love to hear Stephanie and Paolo together. They are an inspiration. Such sympatico! Such back-and-forth! Individually they are marvelous musicians—we’ve known that, but together they play 4-handed stride as it’s never been done. Brava, bravo!”
– Dick Hyman
"It is unusual to hear a piano duet that is played by four hands on just one piano. Somehow Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi manage this near-impossible feat without getting in each other’s way. Their playing is very complementary and mutually inspiring with plenty of fireworks being felt along the way. In their individual careers and together in this collaboration, Paolo and Stephanie keep the rich legacies of ragtime, stride piano, and swing alive, fresh and creative. Their CD is a joy from start to finish.”
– Scott Yanow
“Stephanie and Paolo, revel in a gorgeous lightness of being on a beautiful assortment of songs, tempos, and approaches”
– Michael Steinman
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