Steinway Two Pianos Festival

James Pearson & Tamir Hendelman

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Thursday 21 st March 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

In a celebration of Oscar Peterson, this special show will feature two virtuoso piano players from either side of the Atlantic, both of whom are well known for their affinity with the jazz legend's playing and (often overlooked) composing. US jazz star Tamir Hendelman will be joined by Ronnie Scott's MD James Pearson, in a performance of Peterson's Canadiana Suite, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and much more besides.

“There are many fine pianists with impressive technique and swing who are convincing in a number of styles and play with real feeling. What increasingly distinguishes Hendelman is his gift for imaginative arranging…. He will compose an introduction that makes it difficult to predict what follows, but seems perfectly suited—even organic—once the tune begins.”


Tamir Hendelman is an acclaimed pianist, composer, arranger and educator.  Leader of the Tamir Hendelman Trio (whose recordings reached the top of the US jazz charts), he is a long time member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Jeff Hamilton Trio.  He has recorded with Barbra Streisand on “Love Is The Answer” (2009) and “One Night Only: An evening at the Village Vanguard” and joined her orchestra tour of North America with her in 2012.  Tamir Hendelman has performed with Benny Golson, Scott Hamilton, Richard Galliano and Graham Dechter and arranged and recorded for vocalists Natalie Cole, Roberta Gambarini, Polly Gibbons, Jackie Ryan and many more.  He has performed Rhapsody in Blue with the Winston Salem and Arizona Musicfest Orchestras and will do so in 2020 with the Memphis Symphony.  Since 2005 he has been on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles teaching jazz improvisation, piano, harmony and composition.  He has conducted workshops in universities and schools in Asia, Europe and the US. 

Tamir Hendelman in 2001 premiered John Clayton’s version of Oscar Peterson’s Canadiana Suite with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl.  Oscar Peterson wrote in his online journal: “It was a satisfying but strange feeling... to hear a new young voice make some exhilarating and thoughtful solos in the spaces that I used to occupy in those pieces... I look forward to hearing more from him.”  

He has released two recordings as a leader of his trio:  Playground (Swing Bros, 2008) and Destinations (Resonance 2010).  Reaching #1 on the jazz charts, Destinations takes listeners along on a voyage of musical discovery.  The music ranges from originals to Jobim, Keith Jarrett and Maurice Ravel.  “Destinations to me is not only about the places I have traveled to, but also about the journey of being a jazz musician.”  He has conducted workshops at schools from Oberlin to Indiana, Vancouver to Louisville, and Utrecht to Israel, including an interdisciplinary workshop at the Idyllwild Academy and Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy.


James Pearson is a pianist, composer and creative tour de force. He is the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club where his trio are the house band. There last album ‘Swing the Club’ recorded live at the venue received excellent reviews across the board.The recording was ranked at No.6 in the Sunday Times albums of 2009 and they were delighted to sell out four nights at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York.

 James has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks. Classic FM broadcast his concert of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, and BBC Radio 2 broadcast his performance of the Gershwin Piano Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue. His fine piano playing and arrangements can be heard on over 50 albums. Amongst the many people James has worked with are, Dame Cleo Laine, Maria Ewing, Marian Montgomery, Petula Clark, Kevin Spacey, John Wilson, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Joseph Horowitz, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ray Davies, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney.