“There’s no question that Farrugia deserves recognition as being among the best Toronto has to offer on his instrument. His propulsive style on the piano, which piles notes on top of each other in a tumbling race to the last bar line, reveals the influence of Chick Corea and evokes comparisons between this unit and Return to Forever at their Light as a Feather best.”
-Daryl Angier- The Live Music Report and former editor of CODA magazine
"A gifted pianist. His approach is an intelligent synthesis of styles"
-Harvey Pekar, author of AMERICAN SPLENDOR (from liner notes Delmark DE-567
“His advanced harmonic conception and lyricism recalls Herbie Hancock”
Paul Ryan- All About Jazz
"A fine touch, sophisticated harmonies....with elements of abandon and humour"
-Larry Applebaum, Jazz Times Magazine
"Pianist Farrugia is a young veteran, a first-call sideman who's performed on numerous albums. His excellent CD debut as leader features a forceful, percussive style, fast-developing ideas and a wide-ranging composer's imagination. - Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star
“He’s got something very special going on.”
-Jazz legend Curtis Fuller
“This man can play!”
-Jazz legend Hank Jones at the Bluenote Jazz Club in Tokyo Japan
Pianist and composer Adrean Farrugia is one of Canada’s most distinct voices on the piano. Fusing such diverse influences as Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Phineas Newborn Jr., Hank Jones, Geri Allen, and Brad Mehldau he has forged a personal sound which generates dynamic sensitivity, hard-driving swing, and a powerfully creative statement.
Adrean Farrugia began piano studies at the age of 13 with noted Hamilton teachers Shirley Coit and Donald Cook. Adrean comes from a musical family. His father Bruno is a professional drummer in the Hamilton music scene. His grandfather Joseph Ivan Arsenault was a Maritime fiddler.
In 1992 Adrean enrolled in the Mohawk College Applied music program studying with Mark Eisenman, Dave McMurdo, Mike Malone, Christopher Hunt, and Brian Dickinson. In 1996 Adrean continued his Education at the University of Toronto Jazz Performance program studying with Gary Williamson, Kevin Turcotte, and Phil Nimmons. Also in 1996, Adrean attended the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Summer Jazz Workshop where he studied and performed with Don Thompson, Hugh Fraser, Kenny Wheeler, Pat and Joe Labarbera, and Norma Winstone. Adrean has also received private instruction from jazz legends Cedar Walton, Geoff Keezer, Benny Green, Joanne Brackeen, and British pianist John Taylor.
Since then Adrean has been in high demand as a freelance performer and teacher. Adrean has performed/recorded with some of North America's greatest and diverse jazz artists including: Curtis Fuller, Bob Brookmeyer, Chris Potter, Randy Brecker, Joel Frahm, Brad Goode, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Darcy James Argue, Matt Dusk, Sergio Bastos, Phil Dwyer, Guido Basso, Jane Bunnett, Memo Acevedo, Terry Clarke, Bob Brough, Barry Romberg, Don Thompson, Lorne Lofsky, Ian Froman, Kevin Turcotte, Quinsin Nachoff, Kirk MacDonald, Mike Murley, Kelly Jefferson, Pat Labarbera.
Adrean is currently pianist for such diverse projects as the internationally renowned Matt Dusk Band, NYC saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff’s Rhodes Band, Chicago trumpet virtuoso Brad Goode’s Quarte, The Bob Brough Quartet (featuring Artie Roth and Terry Clarke), Ravi Naimpally’s Indo-Jazz fusion band‘Tasa’, The Ernesto Cervini Quartet (featuring saxophonist Joel Frahm), Tim Shia’s ‘The Worst Pop Band Ever’ and the Darcy Hepner Big Band. Adrean won a JUNO award in 2008 for best traditional jazz recording as pianist on the Brandi Disterheft release Debut.
Locally, Adrean has performed in almost every major city in Canada and the United States. He has been on cross Canada tours with The Kelly Jefferson-Kelsley Grant Quintet, The Ernesto Cervini quartet featuring celebrated NYC saxophonist Joel Frahm, Tim Shia’s ‘The Worst Pop Band Ever’ and the JUNO award winning Richard Underhill Quintet. He has also performed in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C., and in Chicago at the world’s oldest continually running jazz club The Green Mill as a member of jazz legend Curtis Fuller’s Quintet.
Internationally, Adrean has performed at clubs in Paris, France as a member of the Chris Jennings Trio, in Montreaux Switzerland with the Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, as well as in Warsaw Poland with Sundar Viswanathan, and with Matt Dusk in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Houston, Philidelphia, Warsaw, Krakow, and in Tokyo Japan at the world famous Blue Note Jazz Club.
Adrean’s debut recording as a leader Adrean Farrugia v1.0: Live at the Senator was released in the summer of 2006 on ROMHOG RECORDS. It features compositions by Adrean Farrugia, Wayne Shorter and Joni Mitchell. This album has enjoyed regular play on Toronto’s JazzFM and the CBC as has led to appearances on JazzFM’s ‘Joe Sealy’s Duets’ as well as a feature article in Performance Magazine by jazz journalist Geoff Chapman.
Adrean is currently on the faculty of York University and Mohawk College of Arts and Technology where he teaches jazz piano and improvisation. He has also done workshops/clinics at the University of Toronto, The University of Western Ontario, The Banff Centre for the arts, and in Warsaw Poland as part of the Polish Jazz Society’s 35th annual Summer Jazz Workshop.
As well, he has been a contributing reviewer to Larry Fine’s publication The Piano Buyer, the world’s foremost publication on all things piano.
In 2008, Adrean forged a new project entitled RICOCHET featuring as well as himself on piano, three of Canadian jazz’s most creative and distinct artists; Kevin Turcotte on trumpet, Andrew Downing on bass and drummer Anthony Michelli. The band will release their debut recording in 2010 on the Mainstage at the TD Canada Trust Toronto International Jazz festival which also features vocalist Sophia Perlman, trombonist William Carn, saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, renowned Indian tabla master Ravi Naimpally, and cellist Kiki Misumi.
Adrean Farrugia is a Shigeru Kawai artist.
Adrean Farrugia v1.0 - Live at the Senator
Ricochet (April 2010)
Ain't it Wonderful (feat. Rick Wilkins) - Hamilton All Star Jazz Band
Cause and Effect - Greg Bush
Off Balance - Jeff King
Random Access Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4- Barry Romberg
A Decade of Favourites – Bob Brough
Stand Clear - Steven Cole Quintet
Red and Brassy - Duncan Hopkins
Here - Ernesto Cervini (feat. Mike Murley)
Hypnotic Suggestion – Brad Goode –Delmark Records
Debut – Brandi Disterheft (JUNO winner)
Time Away – Bob Brough Quartet
Let There Be Love – Josephine Biundo
Star Spinning – Ashley St. Pierre
Frak - Jason Logue Sextet
Alchemy – Ravi Naimpally and Tasa (featuring Mark Feldman and D.J.
Little Black Bird – Ernesto Cervini (featuring NYC saxophonist Joel Frahm)
What a Dream I Had – Sundar Viswanathan
Good News – Matt Dusk