From left, Bob Savine playing drums, Lowell Ringle playing bass, and Frederic Moyer playing piano. CONTRIBUTED

By Asta Kraskouskas

Florida Keys Concert Association presented its second of six concerts on Jan. 23-24 at Coral Shores and Marathon high schools – jazz by three musicians: Fred Moyer, piano, Lowell Ringle, bass, and Bob Savine, drums.   

Moyer and Savine have played together in the trio for about 12 years. Ringle joined the trio seven years ago. Moyer and he are second cousins. Moyer and Ringle also are connected through music. In their family are about 15 talented and accomplished musicians. Moyer smiles: “When our family gets together, it gets noisy.” 

Moyer’s grandfather, David Moyer, was a prodigy, who, at the age of 9, played for Teddy Roosevelt in the White House. Moyer’s father played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Moyer appeared in the Boston Symphony at age 14, performing with the Boston Pops as a teenager. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia while in high school and graduated from Indiana University.  

Moyer is well known to Keys music lovers, many of whom know him as a classical musician. Last year, Moyer played Mendelssohn, Chopin and Tchaikovsky. This year, Moyer showed his free-spirited jazz musician’s side, playing his own arrangements of standards from the great American songbook. The trio played famous pieces of Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, and lyrical music of Alec Wilder. Songs included “Windmills Of Your Mind,” “Girl From Ipanema” and “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” 

Moyer’s concerts are educational and musical. His impressive knowledge of music, unique arrangements and piano play connect with the audience, letting everyone have their own experience of the night. 

Moyer’s style is a classical approach to jazz. He sees many connections and the roots of jazz in classical music. Moyer said that in his early years, Beethoven was more famous as an improvising pianist than a classical composer. Many musicians would come from far away to hear Beethoven play. In classical music, every improvisation has its separate piece. In jazz, a tune is followed by the improvisations that later are bridged back to the tune. In other words, all variations of the tune come back to the tune in the same piece. 

Moyer’s uniqueness is in his creativity to innovate and combine various computerized software accompaniments. One of them is an “amazing slow downer” application, which doesn’t change the notes, but does change the sound of them with a delayed tone. Moyer invented several software applications, which are integrated into the performance. Last year, Moyer used his USolo software to synchronize an orchestral accompaniment. Moyer also uses his MoyerCam to display a video of his hands playing the keyboard visible to the audience on the grand piano’s lid.  

Ray Arsenault, a first-year season ticket holder said the concert was terrific and educational. 

“The leader (Fred Moyer) is very charming, makes sense, is a good educator and knows much about jazz,” he said. 

Marie DeLuca, a season ticket holder for many years, noted that it was an amazing performance. 

“(I) love the tunes that Moyer picked and interpreted,” she said.

Mary Jo Gohmann, also a longtime season ticket holder, said she loved the music. 

“(I) always enjoy hearing Moyer. (I) bought several CDs, listened online and followed what Moyer was doing”.