After more than 20 years leading his various ensembles and collaborating with artists from Art Blakey to Chris Botti to Sting, virtuosic improviser Geoffrey Keezer is on a mission to redefine solo jazz piano as a personal showcase of melody, energy and groove. Geoffrey will be performing music from his new CD Heart of the Piano, the most direct of focused recording of Keezer's career.
2010/2009 GRAMMY-nominated pianist and composer Geoffrey Keezer was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin into a musical family, and began studying piano at the age of three. In 1989, at the age of 18, after completing his first year at the Berklee College of Music, Geoffrey joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Since then, Geoffrey has worked with virtually all of the living legends of jazz and has appeared on countless recordings both as a leader and as an accompanist.
His professional career has spanned many projects and genres. In 1992 Geoffrey performed Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri. In addition to his 11 solo releases and constant touring, Geoffrey has also had compositions commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Saint Joseph Ballet, Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the Zeltsman Marimba Festival, and was a recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2007 New Works grant. He has also played bass in a rock band and contributed artwork to David Mack's comic "Kabuki".
Geoffrey continues to work in partnership with world class musicians from all genres. His 1998 release, "Turn Up The Quiet", featured Grammy winning vocalist Diana Krall along with Joshua Redman and Christian McBride. His partnership with world renowned classical artist Barbara Hendricks as musical director and arranger produced "It’s Wonderful — A Tribute to George Gershwin" with subsequent touring in Europe and Japan. His two releases in 2003, "Falling Up" and "Sublime: Honoring the Music of Hank Jones", were both collaborative efforts. "Sublime" is an ambitious set of piano duets with Kenny Barron, Chick Corea, Benny Green and Mulgrew Miller. "Falling Up" features several pieces where Geoffrey worked in tandem with the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist, Keola Beamer. His 2005 release, "Wildcrafted", captures the fire and raw energy of Geoffrey’s trio live in concert at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. And in 2006, Geoffrey teamed up with traditional Okinawan singer Yasukatsu Oshima for a groundbreaking album of duets.