Pianist Arik Strauss grew up in Israel and also knows about Jewish culture, but he is more influenced by the tradition of American standards than Klezmer music. However, he does have something in common with Lucette van den Berg: Both share the ability to sing from the heart. Van den Berg does this through her voice and Strauss uses the keys of the piano.
As the title of his album Mostly Ballads implies, Strauss explores the form of the ballad, and it is not an easy form to master. As fellow pianist Marc Copland once remarked in the notes to his album Haunted Heart & Other Ballads: “Playing ballads is, in many ways, the ultimate challenge. A ballad is like a window into the soul of the artist.” Read More