Top 10 + 2, Jazz Pianists alive today:
Born: April 23, 1947
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, composer, arranger and jazz pianist Alan Broadbent began performing professionally at the age of 15, following classical studies. In 1966 he received a scholarship to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he studied composition and arranging. During his tenure at Berklee, Broadbent performed regularly in Boston while traveling on weekends to New York where he studied improvisation with Lennie Tristano. Completing studies at Berklee in 1969, Broadbent began a three-year tour as arranger and pianist for bandleader Woody Herman, earning Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Arranger” Award in 1972 and two Grammy Award nominations for “Children of Lima” (1975) and “Aja” (1978).
Settling in Los Angeles, Broadbent worked with such notable musicians as Nelson Riddle (his pianist for 10 yrs.), David Rose, Johnny Mandel and Henry Mancini. In addition to his own recording projects, Broadbent has arranged and conducted Mel Torme’s “Tribute to Bing Crosby”( a Grammy nomination for best arrangement accompanying a vocal “Without a Word of Warning”1995), Scott Hamilton’s “With Strings”, Marian McPartland’s “Silent Pool” and Natalie Cole’s “Take A Look”, “Holly and Ivy” and “Stardust”.
In 1997 he won a Grammy for his arrangement of “When I Fall In Love” for Natalie Cole. In 2000 he earned his second Grammy Award for best arrangement accompanying a vocal for “Lonely Town”, which he wrote for Charlie Haden’s Quartet West featuring Shirley Horn and strings.
As a member of Quartet West he has toured throughout the USA, Canada and Europe. His recordings with the group include “Haunted Heart”, “Always Say Goodbye”, “Now Is The Hour” and “The Art of the Song”, all featuring his arrangements for string orchestra.
Broadbent’s trio recordings include “Better Days”, “Pacific Standard Time” and “Personal Standards” which features his Grammy nominated song “Everytime I Think of You”. He has also recorded a solo piano CD for Concord Records’ highly acclaimed “Live at Maybeck Hall” series (Vol.14), as well as a duo CD with saxophonist Gary Foster, live at Maybeck.
His most recent CDs feature his arrangements for Michael Feinstein and the Israel Philharmonic (2002) and Natalie Cole’s “Ask A Woman Who Knows” for whom “I’m Glad There Is You” was nominated for a Grammy Best Arrangement Accomp. Vocal (Feb. 2003)
Broadbent is currently the musical director for Diana Krall.
Whether working as a composer, arranger, conductor or pianist, he is widely respected and admired.
Born: October 21, 1955
Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has earned his place among the foremost jazz artists and creative musicians in the world today. He is widely recognized for his ability to steadfastly create a unique body of original works while reinventing the standard jazz repertoire - investing time-tested classics with keen insight, fresh ideas and extraordinary technique. Hersch's many accomplishments include two Grammy® nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition. He is currently nominated for a 2006 Grammy® Award for Best Instrumental Composition.
Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. In 2006, Palmetto Records released the solo disc Fred Hersch in Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis; its release led to Hersch becoming the first pianist in the 70-year history of New York's legendary Village Vanguard to play an entire week as a solo pianist shortly after the disc's release. In addition, he leads a trio, a quintet and has ongoing special collaborations with jazz and classical instrumentalists and vocalists around the world. His next trio release, Night and the Music, will be released by Palmetto May 1st, 2007.
His career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings. Hersch recently created Leaves of Grass (Palmetto Records), a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman's poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet; the work was presented in March 2005 in a sold-out performance at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall as part of a six-city US tour. Hersch has toured with concert pianist Christopher O'Riley (”Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos”) and he has also collaborated sopranos Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald and Dawn Upshaw; violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg; and pianist Jeffrey Kahane. He has received commissions from The Gilmore Keyboard Festival, The Doris Duke Foundation, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Gramercy Trio and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus. His solo piano compositions and chamber music are published by Edition Peters.
Hersch has acted as a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies since 1993. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and at numerous concerts for the charities Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that have raised over $250,000 to date.
After graduating from The New England Conservatory in 1977, Hersch relocated to New York City and quickly became one of the most in-demand pianists in town. As a sideman, he appeared with such jazz masters as saxophonists Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and Jane Ira Bloom; flugelhornist Art Farmer; harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans; vibraphonist Gary Burton; and bassists Sam Jones and Charlie Haden.
Hersch has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Dr. Billy Taylor and on a wide variety of National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air, Jazz Set, Studio 360 and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Hersch has also been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer, and six composition residencies at The MacDowell Colony. A committed educator, Hersch was a faculty member at the New England Conservatory for ten years, and has taught at The New School and Manhattan School of Music; he is currently a visiting professor at Western Michigan University.
Born: March 08, 1941by Ron Wynn
Keyboards. Italian pianist who's been busy working with visiting American musicians and cutting free and jazz rock dates since the '60s. His earliest sessions came with Nunzio Rotondo and Gato Barbieri. Then he recorded with Franco Ambrosetti, Giorgio Azzolini and Giovanni Tommaso, plus Gianni Basso and Enrico Rava. D'Andrea formed the Modern Art Trio in 1968 and four years later played with the jazz rock group Perigeo. D'Andrea worked with a host of visiting American jazz greats, including Dexter Gordon, Slide Hampton, Max Roach and Lucky Thompson and has recorded with Lee Konitz, Conte Candoli and Johnny Griffin. He joined Rava's quartet in 1979, then formed his own group in 1983.
Born: July 2, 1930In 1951, Mr. Jamal first recorded 'Ahmad's Blues' on Okeh Records. His arrangement of the folk tune 'Billy Boy', and 'Poinciana' (not his original composition), also stem from this period. In 1955, he recorded his first Argo (Chess) Records album that included 'New Rhumba', 'Excerpts From The Blues', 'Medley' (actually 'I Don't Want To Be Kissed'), and 'It Ain't Necessarily So' --all later utilized by Miles Davis and Gil Evans on the albums “Miles Ahead” and “Porgy and Bess.” In his autobiography, Mr. Davis praises Mr. Jamal's special artistic qualities and cites his influence. In fact, the mid-to-late 1950's Miles Davis Quintet recordings notably feature material previously recorded by Mr. Jamal: 'Squeeze Me', 'It Could Happen To You', 'But Not For Me', 'Surrey With The Fringe On Top', 'Ahmad's Blues', 'On Green Dolphin Street' and 'Billy Boy'.
In 1956, Mr. Jamal, who had already been joined by bassist Israel Crosby in 1955, replaced guitarist Ray Crawford with a drummer. Working as the “house trio” at Chicago's Pershing Hotel drummer Vernell Fournier joined this trio in 1958 and Mr. Jamal made a live album for Argo Records entitled “But Not For Me”. The resulting hit single and album, that also included 'Poinciana' -- his rendition could be considered his “signature”. This album remained on the Ten Best-selling charts for 108 weeks -- unprecedented then for a jazz album. This financial success enabled Mr. Jamal to realize a dream, and he opened a restaurant/club, The Alhambra, in Chicago. Here the Trio was able to perform while limiting their touring schedule and Mr. Jamal was able to do record production and community work.
Mr. Jamal was born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy who began to play the piano at the age of 3, he began formal studies at age 7. While in high school, he completed the equivalent of college master classes under the noted African-American concert singer and teacher Mary Caldwell Dawson and pianist James Miller. He joined the musicians union at the age of 14, and he began touring upon graduation from Westinghouse High School at the age of 17, drawing critical acclaim for his solos. In 1950, he formed his first trio, The Three Strings. Performing at New York's The Embers club, Record Producer John Hammond “discovered” The Three Strings and signed them to Okeh Records (a division of Columbia, now Sony Records).
Mr. Jamal has continued to record his outstanding original arrangements of such standards as 'I Love You', 'A Time For Love', 'On Green Dolphin Street' (well before Miles Davis!), 'End of a Love Affair', to cite a few. Mr. Jamal's own classic compositions begin with 'Ahmad's Blues' (first recorded on October 25, 1951!), 'New Rhumba', 'Manhattan Reflections', 'Tranquility', 'Extensions', 'The Awakening', 'Night Mist Blues' and most recently 'If I Find You Again', among many others..
In 1994, Mr. Jamal received the American Jazz Masters award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The same year he was named a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University, where he performed commissioned works with the Assai String Quartet. A CD is available of these works.
In 1970, Mr. Jamal performed the title tune by Johnny Mandel for the soundtrack of the film “Mash!”; and in 1995, two tracks from his hit album “But Not For Me” -- 'Music, Music, Music', and 'Poinciana' -- were featured in the Clint Eastwood film “The Bridges of Madison County”.
Mr. Jamal's CD entitled “The Essence” features tenor saxophonist George Coleman -- Mr. Jamal's first recording made with a horn! Critical acclaim and outstanding sales resulted in two prestigious awards: D'jango D'or (critics) and Cloch (for sales) in France. Its success generated a concert at Salle Pleyel, and a CD has been released “Ahmad Jamal a Paris” (1992) and a second “live” concert by Mr. Jamal in l996 under the same title, unissued except in France and available on the Dreyfus Records on the Internet, Mr. Jamal rightly considers one of his best recordings. Ahmad Jamal's 70th Birthday “live” concert recording Olympia 2000, is known as “The Essence Part III”. “The Essence, Part II”, featured Donald Byrd on the title track, and on his CD entitled “Nature”, Stanley Turrentine is featured on 'The Devil's In My Den', and steel drummer Othello Molineaux augments the trio format. Continuing his recording career, Mr. Jamal released “In Search of” on CD, and his first DVD “Live In Baalbeck”.
For students of the piano, Hal Leonard Publications has published “The Ahmad Jamal Collection”, a collection of piano transcriptions. Mr. Jamal continues to record exclusively for the French Birdology label, and his albums are released on Verve and Atlantic in the United States.
Mr. Jamal is an exclusive Steinway piano artist.
Born: December 05, 1972
by Marisa Brown
Jazz pianist Stefano Bollani was born in Milan, Italy. He began playing piano as a child in order to accompany his singing, but soon concentrated solely on the instrument, enrolling in a conservatory in Florence when he was 11. There, he studied both jazz and pop music, and after graduating in 1993, added his keyboard skills to albums for many of Italy's top pop stars, including Laura Pausini, Irene Grandi, and Jovanotti. When working with the latter in 1996 he met avant-garde jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava, who invited the young pianist to play with him in Paris, an opportunity Bollani quickly accepted. He then began to release more jazz albums, first with his trio (completed by bassist Ares Tavolazzi and drummer Walter Paoli) but also as a solo artist (like on 2003's Småt Småt and 2006's Piano Solo) as well as with other trios (2002's Fleurs Bleues drew from the talents of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Clarence Penn, while 2005's Gleda: Songs from Scandinavia used Jesper Bodilsen and Morten Lund) and even a quintet (2006's I Visionari). Bollani has also appeared on stages at the Umbria and Montreal Jazz Festivals, among others, and has performed with musicians like Gato Barbieri, Lee Konitz, Pat Metheny, Paolo Fresu, and Phil Woods.
Born: March 24, 1938Brooklyn-born Steve Kuhn was fascinated with jazz very early in his life. He began classical piano lessons at age five and soon began to “improvise and syncopate the classical repertoire.”
In his early teens, Kuhn studied with legendary teacher Margaret Chaloff who schooled him in the “Russian Technique”, an invaluable tool for tone production and projection. Chaloff's son, Serge, baritone saxophonist for Woody Herman, hired the 13 year-old pianist to play in his group. Throughout his teens Kuhn continued to play in Boston jazz clubs with visiting celebrities; Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker and Vic Dickenson.
After graduation from Harvard College, Kuhn attended the Lenox School of Music where he met and played in a group with fellow-students Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. The faculty included Bill Evans, George Russell, and Gunther Schuller. While at Lenox, Kuhn met trumpeter Kenny Dorham and began a two-year stint, interrupted when Kuhn was asked to join John Coltrane's newly-formed quartet.
Kuhn next joined Stan Getz's band, which included bassist Scott LaFaro. After a year with Art Farmer, he formed the first Steve Kuhn Trio, with drummer Pete LaRoca and bassist Steve Swallow. At the end of the 1960's he spent four years living in Europe, where his performances had a significant impact upon local players. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his long-term affiliation with ECM, resulting in a string of important albums including Trance, Ecstasy, Non-Fiction and the collaborations with Sheila Jordan; Playground and Last Year's Waltz.
In the mid-80's, Kuhn co-founded the popular 'All Star Trio', with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, and launched a new and still evolving edition of his trio with bassist David Finck. Drummers for the latter have included Joey Baron (as on the ECM recording Remembering Tomorrow), Lewis Nash, Billy Drummond, Kenny Washington and Bill Stewart. In the 90's and up to the present time, he has recorded CDs for Venus, Reservoir and Sunnyside.
In 2004, Kuhn recorded Promises Kept which includes a string orchestra for ECM Records. He is most proud of this recording. Kuhn continues to tour widely throughout the world, with a strong following in Europe and especially Japan where his CDs frequently appear on the jazz charts.
Born: March 17, 1948Jessica Williams is a well-known and highly respected pianist and composer who has deep roots in the Jazz Tradition. The two-time Grammy Nominee was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and classically trained at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. In her teens, Jessica moved to Philadelphia and began playing with the great Philly Joe Jones, drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet. Later, she moved to California, where she played in the bands of Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon, Tony Williams, Stan Getz, Big Nick Nicholaus, Airto and Flora, Charlie Rouse, John Abercrombie, Charlie Haden, Leroy Vinnegar, and others. She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; a Rockerfeller Grant for composing; the Alice B. Toklas Grant for Women Composers, and the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Jessica has been an honored guest on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.
She has released over 40 albums in a career spanning as many years. Her album Joyful Sorrow was among the Top 5 CDs of JazzTimes' Critics Poll in 1999, and her album In the Key of Monk won that honor again in 2000. In late 2004, her album LIVE at Yoshi's Volume One was nominated for a Grammy. In Europe, she scored Jazz Record of the Year for 2 consecutive years in the Jazz Journal International Reader's Poll. She has scored PBS and HBO specials, and has been presented the Keys to the City of both San Mateo, and Sacramento, California
Born: August 23, 1970
by Richard S. Ginell & Thom Jurek
During the '90s and into the 2000s, Brad Mehldau was another of the plethora of young jazz pianists who adopted Bill Evans as their role model. Yet while the influence of Evans still thoroughly dominates Mehldau's introspective manner, harmonic constructions, and preferred format (the piano trio), he is one of the more absorbing and thoughtful practitioners within that idiom, and he is receptive to the idea of using material from the rock era (Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," for example). Though Mehldau's training is primarily classical, his interest in jazz began early. He played in the Hall High School jazz band of Hartford, CT, winning Berklee College's Best All-Around Musician Award while still in his junior year of high school. He studied jazz at New York's New School for Social Research under Fred Hersch, Junior Mance, Kenny Werner, and Jimmy Cobb. Cobb soon hired him to play in his band, Cobb's Mob, and Mehldau also played and recorded with the Joshua Redman Quartet before forming his own trio in 1994 and recording his first Warner Bros. album, Introducing Brad Mehldau, in 1995. Art of the Trio, Vol. 1 followed in 1997, with the next two volumes in the series appearing over the following months. Two years later, Mehldau returned with Elegiac Cycle, as well as Art of the Trio, Vol. 4: Back at the Vanguard. Places followed in 2000, consisting of all original compositions focusing on various cities, hence the title of the album. Another Art of the Trio album came in 2001, but the most significant release was Largo, which recorded Mehldau performing with other groups outside of his usual trio format. This was a big change from his previous work, and offered new challenges as he adapted to several interesting lineup situations. Mehldau followed the genre-bending album with the standards-based Anything Goes and Live in Tokyo in 2004, with Day Is Done arriving the following year. In 2006, he released House on Hill as well as Love Sublime, the latter with soprano vocalist Renée Fleming on Nonesuch Records. Mehldau chose to work with his trio plus Pat Metheny on Quartet in 2007; he followed it up with with the double-disc Live in 2008, which was recorded with his trio at the Village Vanguard. In 2010, Mehldau emerged with the ambitious Highway Rider, a double disc of 15 new compositions; it was produced by Jon Brion. He employed his trio as well as drummer Matt Chamberlain, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and a small chamber orchestra led by Dan Coleman. Mehldau arranged and orchestrated all the music.
Born: December 5, 1949He was born in Rome.
When he was only five and a half years old he began studying piano. At the same time his father, a guitarist, started introducing him to the wonders and challenges of jazz improvisation as well. From then on Enrico kept on following a double road in music. In fact he developed his jazz style while studying classical piano.
When he was 19 he began his professional career in Italy and since then he has worked with an abundance of bands, both Italian units and groups led by Americans.
His remarkably wide-ranging experiences include collaborations with jazz luminaries such as Johnny Griffin, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Lee Koonitz, Jim Hall.
Since 1975 Pieranunzi has led his own groups, mostly trios, with which he has played clubs and festivals all over Europe (Zurich, Ravenna, Berlin, Umbria Jazz, Madrid, Copenhagen among them).
He also used to perform as unaccompanied pianist and still does to this very day.
His teaching experience, both in jazz and classical field, is also noteworthy. He is currently full professor of piano at the “Conservatorio di Musica” in Frosinone.
In 1984 Pieranunzi formed an american trio with Marc Johnson and Joey Baron. After their first album togheter (New Lands - Timeless) McCoy Tyner described Pieranunzi as “a new addition to the top-jazz pianoworld”.
In 1986 anothr highly appreciated album (Deep down - Soul Note) was recorded by them.
“No man's land” (1989 with Marc Johnson and Steve Houghton) and “First song” (1990 with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins), both for Soul Note, made Pieranunzi's experience with american trios even richer and wider.
As a close to his liner notes of the latter, well known jazz writer Nat Hentoff stated “these three have created music here that will last long beyond trends and fads because it is as basic as your life”.
Still in 1990 Pieranunzi appeared as guest artist at the “Blue Ridge Music Festival” in Lynchburg, Virginia, playing with Marc Johnson and Peter Erskine. His performance in Virginia wasn't Pieranunzi's first time in USA. In fact in 1982 and 1985 he had already toured the States, giggin in New York and Boston, as well as performing and staging at Alabama and Tennessee Universities.
Voted “Musician of the year” in the “Musica Jazz” critics poll in 1989, Pieranunzi has been said “to reveal himself as a very original musician and a talented composer, able to travel the high road with his own ideas and remarkable musical sensitivity”. He “breathes new life into contemporary jazz” (Jazz Journal).
Born: March 19, 1960
by Craig Harris & Thom Jurek
The classical tradition meets the spontaneity of jazz through the virtuosic playing of Brazil-born and New York-based pianist Eliane Elias. A former member of jazz ensemble Steps Ahead, Elias has continued to explore two distinct musical streams through her solo recordings and her performances since the mid-'80s. In 1993, she became one of the few artists to simultaneously release jazz and classical albums. In a review of a concert in her homeland, Brazil magazine praised Elias for "her dazzling right-hand runs, executed often at frightening speeds. Her command of the keyboard was total. Her harmonic sensibility caused a sense of wondermint." Elias no doubt inherited at least some of her musical talents from her mother, Lucy, a classical pianist who often played jazz records in the family home. After studying for six years at the Free Center of Music Apprenticeship in São Paulo, she continued to study classical technique with Amilton Godoy and Amaral Vieria. By her teens, Elias was composing her own pieces and performing in jazz clubs. While touring in Europe in 1981, she met jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and was encouraged to travel to New York. Arriving in the Big Apple the following year, she studied privately with Olegna Fuschi at the Juilliard School of Music. Elias' professional career received a boost when she was invited to join Steps Ahead, a jazz "supergroup" featuring Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Mike Manieri, and Eddie Gomez. She recorded one album with the group — Steps Ahead — in 1983. Shortly after leaving Steps Ahead, Elias began collaborating with trumpet player Randy Brecker, whom she subsequently married but later divorced. Their sole duo album, released in 1985, was named after their daughter Amanda. The following year, Elias launched her career as a bandleader. Since then, she's alternated tours with two different trios, one featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gomez and the other featuring drummer Erskine and her current husband, bassist Marc Johnson. Elias has also performed with a third trio, featuring Johnson on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums. She signed with Blue Note in 1989, and released her debut for the label, So Far So Close, the same year with a slew of guests. While most of her recordings have been instrumental, Elias introduced her soft but coarse vocals on her 1990 album Eliane Elias Plays Jobim, and has employed vocals on occasion ever since. Her 1995 album Solos and Duets featured a brilliantly executed duet with Herbie Hancock. In addition to working periodically with Toots Thielemans' Brasil Project, Elias has served as musical director for Gilberto Gil's group. While she continued to record for the rest of the 1990s, it was 2000's Impulsive! that proved one of the largest surprises in her career as she collaborated with conductor and arranger Bob Brookmeyer leading the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. In 2002 she left Blue Note for RCA's Bluebird label, where she debuted with Kissed by Nature, a primarily vocal album, and following it up with the lovely Dreamer in 2004. Elias released Around the City in 2006, a collection of primarily vocal tracks that moved ever further into pop territory, covering music by Santana, Bob Marley, and even Beck. It was her final album for Bluebird. She returned to Blue Note for 2007's Something for You: Elaine Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans, fronting a trio with Johnson (who played with Evans) and drummer Joey Baron. In 2009, she issued what many have argued is her finest recording, Bossa Nova Stories, fully engaging her Brazilian heritage in bossa and samba and illustrating her singular jazz instincts as a pianist. In 2010, Savoy Records issued Timeless Eliane Elias, a compilation of tracks culled from her mid-'80s recordings Illusions and Cross Currents.
Born: April 10, 1938by Chris Kelsey
Zeitlin has one of the more unusual "day gigs" for a jazz musician: he's a psychiatrist. Zeitlin's parents were involved in both music and medicine. They started him on the piano at age two; he continued to study classical music while in elementary school, then began playing jazz in high school. Zeitlin began playing professionally in and around his hometown of Chicago as a teenager. In college, he studied composition and theory with George Russell, Alexander Tcherepnin, and Robert Muczynski while simultaneously pursuing studies in medicine. While a student at Columbia University in New York City, Zeitlin auditioned for the legendary producer/talent scout John Hammond; Hammond was sufficiently impressed to produce several records by Zeitlin in the '60s.After receiving his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1964, Zeitlin relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked as both a psychiatrist and musician; one of his trios in the mid-'60s included the bassist Charlie Haden. Zeitlin began experimenting with the prepared piano in the late '60s, which led to an interest in electronic keyboards. He quit playing in public for a time while developing his music further, re-emerging in the '70s playing a style that combined electronics with elements of jazz, classical, and rock. Zeitlin would go on to compose for film and television. His most notable soundtrack was written for director Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake of the sci-fi classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers; he's also written original music for the children's program Sesame Street. Zeitlin has played with a great many prominent musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, David Grisman, Paul Winter, and Joe Henderson. Zeitlin has recorded for Concord Records as part of their Live at Maybeck Recital Hall series of solo and duo performances. His albums are also available on the Intuition and Summit labels. Zeitlin has combined his professional interests in the form of a lecture-demonstration entitled "Unlocking the Creative Impulse: the Psychology of Improvisation," which he's presented across the U.S. and Europe.
Born: May 08, 1958
Christian Jacob began playing at the age of four and graduated with First Prize from the “Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique” in Paris. In 1983, he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later joined the faculty.
While attending Berklee “Downbeat Magazine” honored Christian as “Top Collegiate Jazz Soloist” and he won the 6th Annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida.
Christian later toured with Maynard Ferguson, who produced Christian’s two Concord recordings: “Maynard Ferguson Presents Christian Jacob” and “Time Lines”.
Christian quickly began performing and recording with many of today’s jazz legends Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, Phil Woods, and Bill Holman to name just a few.
By the mid 1990’s Christian teamed up with vocalist Tierney Sutton, drummer Ray Brinker and bassist Trey Henry to record their first CD together, “Introducing Tierney Sutton”. The band became known for its sophisticated, refreshing arrangements, and the obvious musical joy they felt when playing together. They developed into a tightly knit group that recorded six critically acclaimed CDs for Telarc Jazz. “Unsung Heroes”, “Blue in Green”, “Something Cool”, “Dancing in the Dark”, “I’m With The Band” and “On the Other Side”. The later two were both nominated for a Grammy Award.
In the midst of his success with the Tierney Sutton Band, Christian released his third trio CD, this time on his own independent label WilderJazz. The 2004 release, “Styne & Mine”, is a tribute to the music of Jule Styne, and reached #3 in the jazz radio charts.
The success of “Styne & Mine” motivated Christian to record “Contradictions” in 2006. The CD pays homage and offers another look at the original compositions of renowned pianist Michel Petrucciani.
Due to the popularity of his recordings in Japan, (According to The Japan Times he is one of the best-selling foreign jazz pianists in Japan) Christian was invited to tour and record his first live recording there. The resulting CD “Live in Japan” was released in November 2008 on WilderJazz and reached number 14 on the National Jazz Charts.
At present Christian Jacob continues to divide his time between his two bands (The Tierney Sutton Band and The Christian Jacob Trio) and arranging and composing for various artists. He continues to grow and transform with each project always striving for something new.