Pianist Performing Music from the Harlem Renaissance at the Library

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Piano Phil DeVille performs March 12 at the Watertown Free Public Library.

Piano Phil DeVille performs March 12 at the Watertown Free Public Library.

The Watertown Free Public Library will host a pianist who will perform a variety of music from the Harlem Renaissance as part of the events associated with the One Book, One Watertown book Homegoing.

The library sent out the following announcement:

Due to unforseen circumstances, the Uptown String Quartet will not be able to perform this Sunday as planned. We didn’t want to leave you without a fun Sunday afternoon of music, so we’ve invited Piano Phil DeVille to perform in the same time slot.

Piano Phil DeVille will take a musical journey through the sounds of the Harlem Renaissance. From Eubie Blake’s Ragtime stylings, through early Boogie, and onto the titans of Harlem Stride: Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller, and James P. Johnson.

In our One Book, One Watertown selection, Homegoing, Willie walks past marquees advertising Duke Ellington, and she describes the floor show at the legendary Cotton Club, as she yearns for an opportunity to sing on that stage. Jazz was in the air, and hope was in her heart. Accompanied by Scott Aruda on trumpet, Piano Phil DeVille will bring Willie’s Harlem to glorious life through the music of the era.

Phil DeVille first fell in love with Harlem as a student at Columbia University. He holds a degree from Berklee College of Music, and has performed with such diverse talents as Donovan, Freddy Fender, Little Anthony, The Shirelles, The Crystals, Bo Diddley, Bellevue Cadillac, Chandler Travis, and Junior Walker.

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