Petra Haller on tap and Richard Lewis on piano have gone on to develop a captivating partnership drawing on their diverse experiences in music and beyond. Their joint improvisations are consistently unexpected, uplifting and exhilarating.
Petra and Richard met and first played together at the Freedom of Improvisation loft jam led my Cleveland Watkiss, Orphy Robinson, Tori Handsley and Paul Bradshaw.
Petra is an independent dance artist and tap dancer based in London. She has mainly studied at workshops under Jason Samuels Smith, Derick Grant and Andrew Nemr who not only taught her the dance style but also introduced her to the roots of this African-American art form in jazz music and African-American history. She was introduced to free improvisation by Cleveland Watkiss and immediately found herself at home. Petra is committed to staying true to the roots and history of tap while also finding her way in improvised music and free jazz, constantly hungry to learn and collaborate with other art forms and instrumentalists. Recent performances include Resonances 3: Rêves at Vortex Jazz Club, as part of the London Jazz Festival, and Ecstasies at Artwalk Wakefield. She has recently been named in Jazzwise’s 2020 visions as one of the faces to look out for by The Vortex’s Oliver Weindling.
Richard is a pianist with a grounding in classical music and an instinct for improvisation. Largely self-taught, his explorations draw on his experiences of writing and performing music influenced by jazz, folk and classical traditions. He graduated in 2015 from Clare College, Cambridge where he gave his first recitals while studying maths.