One of those who chose to stay was Bess Bonnier, who went to school with Flanagan. She has been working in the area ever since, and she has developed a loyal following for her playing and composing and, lately, for her singing. Although Bonnier is a premier exponent of the bebop style, she has never been happy repeating the past, and she continues to evolve in her music making, learning from new sounds. Gary Schunk represents another generation of local pianists. Schunk is an accomplished classical player who turned to jazz, and his extensive musical training and great ear have been put to good use in many local groups and in accompanying distinguished visitors. Rick Roe is well known to Ann Arbor audiences, most recently with his stellar quartet, Bop Culture, which has just released an excellent CD. Still another great Detroit pianist is Charles Boles, whose bluesy, intensively swinging playing has been a fixture of the local scene.
These four pianists will demonstrate their solo art over the course of two concerts at Kerrytown Concert House Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12.
[Originally published in July, 2003.]