Couple returns to Carnegie Hall for memorial tribute to slain journalist |

Couple returns to Carnegie Hall for memorial tribute to slain journalist

Joanna Hartman
Nevada Appeal News Service
Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun

North Tahoe musicians Jan Short and Jay Grauer are playing Carnegie’s Weill Hall for a second straight year. But this year the local musicians will perform a memorial concert on behalf of slain journalist Daniel Pearl.

Reminiscing about last year’s acoustic performance, Short and Grauer, two of three members of the Jan Short Trio, described their first experience at the renowned music hall as “awe-inspiring.”

“It’s hard when you perform to savor the moment, but I did,” Short said. “I looked at the chandeliers and wondered how they kept them so immaculate … not to mention the most brilliant and exquisite Steinway grand piano I have ever heard.”

“It was an experience not to forget – that’s why we’re going again this October,” she added.

The unplugged trio will premiere a piece written for Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002.

Short worked for Pearl’s father at the University of California, Los Angeles, several years ago, and felt inspired to perform in a memorial.

A seasoned vocalist, Short grew up in a musical family. She has a 3.5-octave voice and loves performing – whether it’s a tribute show at the Biltmore or singing for former President Bill Clinton at the Tahoe Forum this summer.

The trio prefers the straight acoustics of Carnegie’s smaller 500-seat room – a favorite of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma – but the venue requires more vocal power, they say.

“We have to work a lot harder singing full voice for two hours, but the room was made for that sound, not electric,” Short said. “So we are trying to be true to the original sound the room was originally designed for.”

One of the greater musical challenges for Grauer, a classically trained bassist of 54 years, is the instrument itself.

“Driving across the country with a huge string bass was hard because you have to have someone watching it when you fill up for gas,” Grauer said.

The travel to New York is as much a part of the adventure and experience as the concert and the Kings Beach duo caravans cross-country. Completing the trio at next month’s concert is Mike Renzi, a New York City resident whose resume includes musical director for “Sesame Street.” Renzi joined the trio on keyboard last year, too.

The Jan Short Trio will play Carnegie Hall’s smaller room for their second time at 2 p.m. Oct. 27.