GuyMintus cover web

Album: A Gershwin Playgound
Label: enja
Vertrieb: edel
VÖ: 23. Oktober 2020

GUY MINTUS: piano, vocals





1. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off / 2. Fascinating Rhythm - I Got Rhythm / 3. The Man I Love / 4. It Ain’t Necessarily So / 5. I Loves You, Porgy      6. They Can’t Take That Away From Me / 7. Someone to Watch Over Me / 8. Rhapsody in Blue / 9. Summertime

Recording engineer Zvika Hirshler, recorded at the Jerusalem Music Centre, January 2020. Mixed and mastered by Uwe Schwidewski. Photography by Ella Barak, Art and Styling: Guy Mintus, Graphic Design: David Winckelmann. Produced by Guy Mintus and Matthias Winckelmann.


Der junge israelische Pianist, Komponist, und Vokalist Guy Mintus, der in Tel Aviv und New York lebt, fühlt sich gleichermaßen daheim, wenn er die Bühne mit Jazz Legenden teilt, für klassische Orchester komponiert, mit Meistern traditioneller Musik oder als Gast Solist in der Ska Punk Band Street Light Manifesto spielt, mit der er ein ausverkauftes Konzert im Beacon Theatre in NY hatte. Er kommt aus einer gemischten Tradition von polnisch-jüdischen, irakischen und marokkanischen Familien. Seine Musik ist ein Melting Pot dieser verschiedenen Einflüsse, die frei zueinander finden. Guy ist ein hoch ausgebildeter klassischer Pianist mit der Energie eines Rock Stars und dem Feeling eines Jazz Musiker für Abenteuer: einer, der sich nicht scheut, sich in einen Mix aus Jazz, Klassik und nahöstlichen Linien und Rhythmen zu stürzen. 

Guys Preise gehen vom Leonard Bernstein Award der ASCAP und der Bernstein Family Foundation, zum Prix du Public des Montreux Jazz Festivals. Seine Debüt Produktion wurde zum Down Beat‘s Editors Pick gewählt, die selbst veröffentlichte Aufnahme CONNECTING THE DOTS wurde gerade auch von ENJA RECORDS für den weltweiten Vertrieb später lizensiert – diese CD wurde auf Konzerten in den USA, Kanada, Frankreich, Schweiz, Deutschland, Israel, Kazakhstan mit großem Erfolg vorgestellt und in einer Auflage von über 1000 Stück verkauft und in New York von der von der NY TIMES empfohlen. Weitere Festivals waren das Paris Jazz Festival, das Winter Fest NY, das Montreal Jazz Festival. Das Guy Mintus  Trio wird auch intensiv in Europa konzertieren, wenn Corona es erlaubt.

Guy komponierte Auftragskompositionen für das American Composers Orchestra, das berühmte Jerusalemer East-West Orchester und die Jerusalemer Symphony. 2018 führte er in München Gershwins RHAPSODY IN BLUE mit den Bayerischen Philharmonikern auf und trat aber auch im ausverkauften Jazz Club Unterfahrt auf, der ihn auch sofort wieder für Herbst 2020 gebucht hat. 


The young (29) Israeli pianist, vocalist, composer Guy Mintus is based between Tel Aviv and New York feels equally at home whether he’s sharing the stage with Jazz legends, composes for classical orchestras, works with masters of traditional music or performing as guest soloist with the Ska Punk band Streetlight Manifesto at a sold-out Beacon Theatre. His background is a mixed Jewish tradition of Polish, Iraqi and Moroccan families, in his music different influences meet. A highly educated classical pianist with the energy of a rock star and the Jazz musician‘s feeling for adventures who does not shy away to throw his Near-Eastern lines and rhythms.


A Gershwin Playground is Guy’s 3rd trio release and the first one in which he’s prominently exposed as a vocalist. This past July, the Guy Mintus Trio has presented the Gershwin Global Concert, an International Live Streamed Fundraiser in solidarity and support of Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Emergency fund. The event received support from leading jazz outlets as DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazz Corner and Jazziz, reached tens of thousands of people worldwide and raised some very well needed funds as well as awareness to the important work of the Jazz Foundation.


Guy`s awards stretch from the Leonard Bernstein Award by ASCAP and the Bernstein Family Foundation to the Prix du Public of the  Montreux Jazz Festival. His own and self distributed debut production A HOME IN BETWEEN was selected by the DownBeat’s Editor and was presented in concerts in the USA, Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, Khazakstan with great success selling over 1000 copies at concerts. Guys’ sophomore album CONNECTING THE DOTS was recommended in the New York Times and presented at festivals such as the Paris Jazz Festival, Winter Jazz Fest and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Guy was commissioned to write for the American Composers Orchestra, the famous Jerusalem East-West Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra among others. In 2018 he performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Bayrische Philharmonie and worked in the sold out Jazz club UNTERFAHRT where he was immediately booked for autumn 2020. He intends to concertize all over Europe in Autumn and Winter 2020 if CORONA permits.


Guy Mintus about his brand new trio production A GERSHWIN PLAYGROUND: 

“After two albums of mainly original music, it felt right to take on the challenge of making a personal artistic statement through a canonic body of work.  George Gershwin’s catalogue was a very natural choice as I have known some of the songs on this album since I was 10 years old.  I am continuously astounded by how relevant, multi-layered and full of possibilities Gershwin’s music remains. For me, the definitive guideline in creating the interpretations on this album has been the lyrics.  Bringing these songs into my trio's singular “playground” while telling the stories conveyed through each song in our own musical language has been a real joy. At times, we took a more poppy “singer songwritery“ approach, at other times throwing in some groovy middle-eastern elements or a meditative ”prayer like“ moments. Yet above all, of swing, playfulness and joie de vivre.

The cover of “A Gershwin Playground” was also heavily inspired by the lyrics as we created the playground from objects representing lyrics of different songs (“cotton”, “fish”, “hat”, “tea”, “tomato”, “lamb” and more). Along with those we’ve also incorporated classic game elements as well as objects that signify Gershwin, the trio’s history, past travels and my own personal history (in example the wooden horse I have since 3 years old).

Making a Gershwin album in 2020 as an Israeli musician who spent seven years in New York dedicating my life to the Black American art form called Jazz. In 1935, Gershwin refused to premiere Porgy & Bess at the Metropolitan Opera because the Met would not allow Black performers at the time. That decision by the composer ensured that the opera would only be presented with Black vocalists until this day. To me, this is a form of allyship and advocacy I very much stand behind.

The performance of Rhapsody in Blue is dedicated to the memory of the “Jewish Ex-Concentration Camp Orchestra” at the Displaced Persons Camps of Landsberg and Feldafing. My relationship with the piece is special to me as I have performed it for the first time with Bayerische Philharmonie at a concert commemorating 70 years Leonard Bernstein’s concert with the ”Displaced Person's Orchestra. Since then, the piece, has become part of my musical DNA as I've got to perform it dozens of times in different formations including a solo performance at the salon of Jamie & Nina Bernstein, the daughters of the Maestro Bernstein.“

Guy Mintus, 2020.


Press Quotes:

Mintus pours together a mixed brew of influences - Arabic makam, Jewish folk song, Eastern European dance rhythms and, especially, classic hard bop - with ebullient grace that you'd think they all originated in the very same place" The New York Times, May 2019 

“Mintus’ shining, charismatic personality is addictive, and his fine trio liberates listeners with its majestic take on freedom conjured through thoughtful connections.” DownBeat Magazine, May 2019 Full review

“Outstanding piano trio disc that heralds the arrival of a significant talent and a superb band.” All About Jazz Full review

“Best trio album of 2017 by a mile, so far.” NY Music Daily  Full review

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