When Tom Oren won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition last year, he was a third-semester double major at the Berklee College of Music. On Wednesday night, Oren led his trio in a farewell concert there, presented by The Checkout Live at Berklee.
Oren’s trio includes Elam Friedlander on bass and Kush Abadey on drums. Their set list included standards Oren learned during his development — songs he says he “holds dear to my heart, as well as selections from my soon-to-be-released debut album with Concord Records.”
Among those songs is the Cole Porter classic “Just One of Those Things,” which Oren played on his first Berklee Jazz Workshop audition at 17, and again in the Monk Competition finals. “So it means a lot to me to play it once more live at Berklee, approaching the end of my last semester,” he says.
But at the heart of this performance and webcast, from the Red Room at Cafe 939, is a tribute to Oren’s most formative influence. “As a remarkable composer and pianist, my mother Dorly has worked with some of the leading Israeli singers, as well as written scores for films and plays by prominent directors and playwrights,” he says. “I’ve been dreaming to do this project with her and her music since I was a kid, growing up listening and admiring her beautiful, deep and unique music. I’m happy beyond words to finally make this dream a reality.”