Jeff Laibson Artworks, Asheville, NC
As you enter the studio of Jeff Laibson, and before you see the usual assortment of paints and such, you encounter an 80 year old grand piano given to him at age four. When most of us were scribbling with crayons, this child artist was studying with his concert artist father.
Jeff is not the usual painter. This artist is a renowned composer and pianist who has performed all over the world, educated at Berklee School of Music in Boston, and the University of Miami.
Have you ever wondered how a musical composition might look, or how a painting might sound?…..well….Welcome to the world of Jeff Laibson; a composer that paints and a painter who composes. His paintings and music are both derived from the same place inside the subconscious where the life force is interconnected with rhythm in motion, and motion in rhythm.
His inspiritors include Klee, Frankenthaler, Miro, Motherwell , and enjoys painting in many mediums from acrylics, pastels and dyes, as well as different surfaces such as paper, canvas, wood and drumheads. One cannot even have a conversation with him without feeling the table move to the tapping of his fingers as he “plays” the conversation.
As far as his music credits go, it was during the 70’s and 80’s that he accompanied many superstars of the time such as Mel Torme, Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Barry White, but his favorite gigs were playing piano for the 3-R’s of comedy….Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, and Redd Foxx.
In the mid 80’s, with extensive jazz piano playing experience, he joined the faculty at the University of Miami in Florida and credits teaching to be perhaps one of the most rewarding professions all the while and at the same time, selling his paintings. Jeff has always felt it a great responsibility to inspire the future generation of the world’s young music students/teachers and equally that the music education experience opens up the student’s spirit to the teacher’s expertise and vulnerabilities as well.
In August of 2008, Jeff unveiled a 60 foot mural commissioned by Buffalo State College which is permanently housed in Historic Rockwell Hall.
This mural is the largest of his art projects done to date with a story line and concept involving the evolution of music from early times to the present, and its application to music education. It even has a Pop Quiz built into it, as well as painted blackboard sections with lessons on basic and advanced improvisation, all the while projecting Jeff’s philosophy which is PLAY…….REST……..REPEAT….a trademarked philosophical phrase he has employed on all his paintings. It is his philosophy on ones life’s raison d’etre, as well as the obvious musical commands.