Five years ago, local jazz musician Chris Pitts, with the backing of the Waban Improvement Society, put together the Newton Piano Summit as part of the annual Newton Festival of the Arts.  The first year’s inspiration for the event were the street pianos that were installed all over the city for the festival.  Those street pianos were wonderful magnets for bringing random people together for impromptu music.

Chris thought, since we have this piano right in the middle of Waban Square, why not recruit world class musicians to play, for a month long series of free public performances – The Newton Piano Summit was born.

It’s been running for five years now and has become a loved local musical institution.  As with everything else though, this year the rug has been pulled out from under the event.

I’m happy to report that, Covid-19 be damned, the Piano Summit returns with the first concert this Saturday, with a live on-line streamed version from 1-2 PM on Saturday.


Please join us this Saturday from 1-2 pm for the first of three performances of the Newton Piano Summit, with music by Yoko Miwa and Maxim Lubarsky.

Join in the performance by clicking on either of the links listed below:

COVID-19 has changed our world, and for artists who depend greatly on live performances for income, the impact is devastating. The good news is artists are taking to the internet, and sequestered audiences are able to enjoy live performances. That is exactly what the Newton Piano Summit is doing with our 2020 season with the following line up:

  • May 9th: 1-2 pm Yoko Miwa and Maxim Lubarsky
  • May 16th: 1-2 pm Warren Wolf
  • May 23rd: 1-2 pm Debo Ray and Nando Michelin & Ebinho Cardoso

Our intention is to keep going and hold live stream concerts every Saturday until the money runs out so stay tuned for an extended schedule.

Below is a link to amazing concerts from May 2019, including one of Yoko Miwa who will be returning this Saturday. More than 50 videos from 4 years of concerts can be found playing on NewTV, LexMedia, and on the NPS home page, our Facebook page, and our YouTube channel

The performers and I are extremely grateful to the Waban Improvement Society for having the vision to include the Summit among their key community-building projects. The Summit benefits all of Newton, neighboring communities, and audiences tuned in around the globe. We thank the Newton and Massachusetts Cultural Councils, the Paul & Edith Babson Foundation, the Village Bank, Honda Village, and Advance Auto in Nonantum, and all of you whose donations help underwrite the Summit and keep the music going.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation of any amount – 100% of proceeds go to the artists. Here is the link: CLICK HERE to donate to the Newton Piano Summit 

Chris Pitts  

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