pianoforte, Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett (Allentown, May 8, 1945) is an American pianist, harpsichordist and composer.
His career began with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and, above all, Miles Davis. Since the early seventies he has been very successful in jazz and classical music, as a head teacher and as a soloist. His improvisation technique for piano includes, in addition to jazz, different musical genres: in particular, classical music, gospel, blues and ethnic music. To date, he is considered one of the best improvisers in jazz history, and one of the most successful pianists in jazz history.
Born into a multi-ethnic family, originally from Hungary, Keith is the eldest of five brothers. Since childhood, the family has been breathing music. His paternal grandmother plays the piano and an aunt teaches it, while his father, who because of the Great Depression was unable to have a good musical education, is also a great fan. The mother, for her part, has studied music since she was a child and has had the opportunity to sing in some local choirs. Keith Jarrett began taking piano lessons at the age of three, studying classics and being included in various performances at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and Madison Square Garden and performed in the first concert at nine, playing a composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. From twelve years on he plays as a professional and from fifteen he undertakes composition studies. He then entered Berklee College of Music in Boston and received a scholarship to study harmony at the prestigious chair of Nadia Boulanger in Paris (the same chair was also addressed to Astor Piazzolla and Philip Glass), but, he politely declined and moved to New York in 1964, performing at the Village Vanguard. He plays with clarinetist Tony Scott, who had also played with Billie Holiday. Later Jarrett is with Art Blakey in Jazz Messengers.Among the messengers Jarrett cultivated that taste for gospel and blues that never abandoned him again. It was December 1965 and Jarrett was 20 years old. Three months later he was heard in the quartet of Charles Lloyd, an important group, which received a lot of support, and in which Jarrett met a drummer, also very young, destined to meet with his career, Jack DeJohnette. Jarrett in that mature quartet, so much so that he decided to leave Lloyd and found his trio with Charlie Haden, icon of the free double bass, and Paul Motian, drummer who passed away for Bill Evans' trio. Jarrett's first album as a leader, Life Between the Exit Signs (1967), was released by the Vortex label in this period, followed by Restoration Ruin (1968). Another album, Somewhere Before, was released in 1968 on the Atlantic label. He often played saxophone and various types of percussion in the American Quartet, but since the band's dissolution he has not often played instruments other than the acoustic piano. In most albums of the last twenty years he has only played acoustic piano. Jarrett suffered from what was diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome in the late 1990s, and was forced to remain confined to his home for long periods of time. Thanks to this isolation, he has made good progress towards complete recovery and has recorded a new album The Melody at Night, With You originally conceived as a Christmas gift for his wife. Contrary to his previous working modes, this album plays piano solo, not with classical or completely improvised songs, but rather with old songs and standards. In 2004 Jarrett won the musical prize Léonie Sonning, normally associated with classical musicians and composers, which was previously awarded to one jazz musician, Miles Davis. The first person to receive this award was Igor Stravinskij in 1959. He lives in Union, New Jersey.