JEFF GARDNER, pianist and composer, was born in New York in 1953. His studies include: classical piano with Ruth Schöntal and Ivan Tcherepnin, jazz piano with Hall Overton, Jaki Byard, John Lewis, Don Friedman, and Charles Banacos, and harmony and composition with Nadia Boulanger. He has performed around the world with some of the greatest names in modern music.
At the 1980 Monterey Jazz Festival in Rio de Janeiro he played with Victor Assis Brasil, Clark Terry, and Slide Hampton. He also performed in Brasil with Wayne Shorter, Hermeto Pascoal, Paulo Moura, Dori Caymmi, Pat Metheny, Helen Merrill, Paulo "Mou" Brasil, Mauricio Einhorn, and Helio Delmiro.
In the U.S. he worked with Moacir Santos, Raul de Souza, Toninho Horta, Bob Sheppard, Ndugu Chancler, and Ron McClure. He has played solo concerts for French radio and television and led trios including J.F. Jenny-Clark, Andy McKee, Nene, and Barry Altschul. A highlight of his European career was the piano quartet with Martial Solal, Jaki Byard, and Paul Bley at Le Havre in 1984. Other artists with whom he has toured and recorded include Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, Steve Lacy, Gary Peacock, Eddie Gomez, Billy Hart, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, André Ceccarelli, Charlie Mariano, Hein van de Geyn, David Friesen, Youcef Boukella, Karim Ziad, and Alfredo Rodriguez.
Always open to new sounds, Jeff formed a duo mixing jazz and new music with radio drum player Andrew Schloss. They performed at the IRCAM in Paris, the Center for Art and Mediatechnology in Germany, as well as in the US. He has also performed classical-jazz fusion with soprano S'Ange Susan Belling, with whom he recorded the upcoming duo release "Lightsong", featuring jazz arrangements of Debussy, Villa Lobos, and other modern composers.
International concerts include the October Jazz Festival in Saint Lucia, Jazz a la Plantation Festival in Martinique, Nice Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, Jazz D'Or Festival, New Morning, Groningen Jazz Days, the Madajazzcar Festival in Madagascar and many European tours solo and in a quartet with co-leader Rick Margitza on sax. In 1996 Jeff took his trio on a three week tour of the Japanese Blue Note Clubs with Brazilian singer Lisa Ono. He has also toured extensively with the young Brazilian guitar virtuoso, Nelson Veras (who joined Jeff's band at age 14!). In July 1999, Jeff wrote and performed in Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil, his first concerto for piano and orchestra, "Voltas".
Jeff has released ten CDs as a leader including "Spirit Call" (solo piano), "Continuum", with Eddie Gomez and Billy Hart, "Alchemy", with Gary Peacock, "Noches Habaneras", recorded in Havana, Cuba with Julio Barreto, "Anga" Diaz, Felipe Cabrera, Orlando "Maraca" Valle, and Diego Valdez, "Sky Dance", recorded in Rio de Janeiro with special guest Gilberto Gil, and "The Music of Chance", inspired by the writings of Paul Auster.This CD features Rick Margitza, Ingrid Jensen, Drew Gress, and Tony Jefferson. In 2001 Jeff released "Street Angels", recorded in Rio with an all-star cast of Brazilian musicians including Carlos Balla, Marcelo Martins, Marcos Suzano, and Alexandre Carvalho.
Jeff Gardner is also active in jazz education, giving master classes in many countries. He currently teaches at New York University and is the author of "Jazz Piano: Creative Concepts and Techniques", a 500 page method including CD published by Editions Lemoine in English and French, and co-author with Niels Lan Doky of "Jazz Transcription" (Advance Music).