LIVE: “Life Is What You Make It: A Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett” @ the Massry Center, 2/23/11
Yes, Peter Buffett is the son of financial guru and billionaire Warren Buffett. So what?
Peter Buffett’s success should be measured by his life as a musician, compose, author, activist and philanthropist – not by who his father is or what he does. They are two individuals who measure success and pursue life in different ways – one financial and the other artistic.
Peter Buffet is an Emmy Award-winning musician who launched his career writing music for MTV commercials. He delivered the goods ten-fold and has been making music in a variety of contexts for more than a quarter century – without his father’s help.
Buffett wrote the “Fire Dance” music for 1990’s Academy-Award winning Kevin Costner film, “Dances with Wolves.” He wrote the score for “500 Nations” (the eight-hour Emmy Award-winning CBS miniseries) and “Spirit: The Seventh Fire” (the 2009 musical spectacle on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. And if that isn’t enough, Buffett has released 15 new age albums and written the New York Times best-selling book, “Life Is What You Make It.”
On Wednesday night at the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center, Buffett sat at the piano, presenting a multi-media evening complete with a biographical slide-show; clips from his wide-ranging film, television and philanthropic work; an ongoing Q&A with the audience; and musical performances with his long-time accompanist, cellist Michael Kott.
Most of the performance segments involved canned music pumped through the speakers with Buffet and Kott filling in the vocal, piano and cello spaces. So, in a way, it was a karaoke presentation, although Buffett and Kott kept it real and refreshing all along.
The unsung hero of the night was Kott, a dynamic and passionate cellist who threw his whole body and soul into his playing, squeezing notes out of his instrument that would make cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma take note. Not that Buffett didn’t also play with the same conviction, but he had more to deal with than just playing. After all he was juggling the audio-video presentation, as well as the Q&A for the entire show.
After the event, Buffett met with his fans in the Massry Center lobby, amiably chatting, signing autographs and capping off the evening on a personal, one-on-one note.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk