Topics Covered: Contrafacts, Reharmonization, Jazz Piano, Giant Steps, Jazz Harmony, Melody, Color Tones, Rhythmic Aspects, Scales, Movement, Etc.
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Jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Andy LaVerne, born Dec. 4, 1947, in Brooklyn, NY, studied at The High School of Music & Art, Ithaca College, Juilliard, Berklee, the New England Conservatory, and took private lessons from pianists Jaki Byard, Richie Beirach, Don Freidman, and jazz piano icon Bill Evans. The list of musicians with whom Andy has worked reads like a Who’s Who in jazz: Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Branford Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Michael Brecker, Elvin Jones, Miroslav Vitous, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Stitt, Benny Golson, Eddie Gomez, Mel Lewis, Mel Torme, Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Dave Samuels, John Abercrombie, & numerous others.
A prolific recording artist, his CD projects as a leader number over 60. LaVerne’s lastest CD’s are, Live From New York (SteepleChase), a duo with longtime collaborator John Abercrombie, Three’s Not A Crowd (SteepleChase), with Mike Richmond and Billy Hart, and I Have A Dream (SteepleChase) with Gary Versace and Anthony Pinciotti. He has recorded three disks for Yamaha PianoSoft, By Name Only, Why Ask Why? and In Walked Bud. Andy served as the music director and pianist on 21 volumes of the critically acclaimed SteepleChase Jam Session CD series. LaVerne appears on over 100 recordings as a sideman. His original compositions have been recorded on his leader and sideman projects.
Andy is also a prominent jazz educator, having released a series of instructional videos, Guide to Modern Jazz Piano, Vols. 1 &, 2, and Jazz Piano Standards (Homespun Tapes), featuring the Yamaha Disklavier, as well as the performance videos, In Concert (Homespun), and The Art of The Duo (Mel Bay), both with John Abercrombie. Andy also has done two projects for Band In A Box (PG Music), Andy LaVerne Mainstream Soloist, and Andy LaVerne Pentatonic Soloist. He is the author of Handbook of Chord Substitutions, Tons of Runs (Ekay), The Music Of Andy LaVerne (SteepleChase Publications), and Bill Evans Compositions 19 Solo Piano Arrangements (Hal Leonard). Countdown To Giant Steps (Aebersold Jazz) is a two CD playalong with companion book, of which LaVerne served as player/producer & writer. Tunes You Thought You Knew (Aebersold Jazz) is a LaVerne playalong CD/book set of reharmomizations. Secret of the Andes, a new Aebersold playalong is a collection of Andy LaVerne compositions. He heads the rhythm section on the Hal Leonard playalong of The Music of Chick Corea. His newest books are QuickChords and Chords In Motion (Aebersold Jazz).
Andy is a contributing editor (since 1986) for Keyboard Magazine. His articles have also appeared in Piano Today, Down Beat, Jazz Improv, Piano Quartely, Piano Stylist, Jazz and Keyboard Workshop, and JazzOne.
Andy is the recipient of five Jazz Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and winner of the 2000 John Lennon Songwriting contest for his tune Shania. He is the recipient of a Meet The Composer Grant, and numerous ASCAP Awards. He has appeared at concerts, festivals, and clubs throughout the world, and has also presented Clinics and Masterclasses at Univeristies and Colleges including: Berklee College of Music, Eastman School of Music, University of North Texas, University of Miami, Florida International University, Ithaca College, Middle Tennesse State University, University of Colorado, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, Indiana University, Capital University, Miami Dade College, Webster University, and conservatories around the world. Recently he has toured and recorded with legendary singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka. Andy has taught jazz, piano, improvisation, and compostion at The University of Bridgeport, Mannes College of Music, The New School, William Patterson University, and SUNY Purchase. He is professor of Jazz Piano at The Hartt School-Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz-University of Hartford, and is on the faculty of the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops.