Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

February 6, 2014

From father to son: Piano comes full circle

TRAVERSE CITY — Jazz pianist Jeff Haas still recalls visiting the WJR studios in Detroit’s Fisher Building as a child to see his father, the late classical pianist Karl Haas, record his radio show, “Adventures in Good Music.”

“I remember we actually played a duet on the show together,” said Haas, one of several “guest” artists, including Van Cliburn and Arthur Rubinstein, who joined his father at the keyboard of the 7-foot Baldwin Artist Grand with black satin finish. From 1959 to 1974, his father started and ended the show by playing his theme song on the piano.

Wednesday the instrument came full circle when it was delivered to Jeff Haas at his Building Bridges with Music offices and performance space on 14th Street — a gift from Jim Evola of Evola Music stores in metro Detroit and Traverse City.

“I didn’t do it for any other reason except it seemed like the right thing to do,” said Evola, who came across the beat-up piano languishing on the unused eighth floor of WJR while touring the studios about three years ago. “I know he’ll do the right thing with it.”

The idea to restore and donate the piano as a surprise for Haas took shape last summer when Evola attended the season opening of Haas’ Jazz at Sunset concert series at Chateau Chantal.

“He was talking about his father and that his father would be 100 in December and that he founded the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, which asked Jeff to play a (tribute) concert Dec. 6,” said Evola, who by chance was invited to join the society board later that week. “I don’t know why, but I remembered that piano from several years ago from that tour. My original plan was to have the piano there on the 6th when Jeff was playing and make an announcement that, by the way, it was his dad’s.”

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl