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Tift Merritt talks classical collaborations, interviewing musicians and 'Feel of the World'



Tift Merritt and Simone Dinnerstein are both musicians, but they come from very different traditions.

Merritt, 38, is a pop and folk singer-songwriter from North Carolina. Dinnerstein, 40, is a classical pianist from New York. Merritt learned to play music by ear. Dinnerstein is classically trained to play music by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms in which the notated score is king. 

However different they are, Merritt and Dinnerstein have joined forces to play concerts and put out an album, Night, a kind of song cycle that ranges from Merritt songs to Schubert lieder, an arrangement of Johnny Nash's reggae hit I Can See Clearly Now to The Cohen Variations, an homage to Leonard Cohen's Suzanne for piano by Daniel Felsenfeld.

"The concert is a bit like an expanded version of the album," Merritt said. "The common thread for me is a willingness to be open, a love of music and a real passion for bringing as much depth and intensity as you can to that music."

Merritt and Dinnerstein are on tour and perform Saturday night at Tampa's Straz Center. Tickets start at $28.50. Click here.

For more of John Fleming's interview with Tift Merritt, click here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 4:42pm]


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