- NAME: Keith Jarrett
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Pianist
- BIRTH DATE: May 08, 1945 (Age: 68)
- Did You Know?: Soon after its 1975 release, Keith Jarrett's album The Köln Concert was deemed the best-selling piano album of all time as well as the best-selling solo album in jazz history.
- EDUCATION: Emmaus High School, Academy of Music, Berklee College of Music
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Allentown, Pennsylvania
- ZODIAC SIGN: Taurus
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Keith Jarrett is an American pianist and composer known for his wild and melodic improvisational jazz performances.
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Born on May 8, 1945, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, pianist/composer Keith Jarrett came to prominence in the late 1960s, after joining Miles Davis for several concerts and albums. Jarrett led his own group, a trio, during the 1970s, and toured and recorded with Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek. By the 1980s, his public performance had turned to classical recitals. In 1983,
"I grew up with the piano. I learned it's language while I learned to speak."
"The natural thing is to be sitting there with this in your hands going, 'Will they get it?' I did my job. But now it's out there.''
"When I was a little kid and I was studying piano, I would get music that would look too difficult, so occasionally I remember saying to my mother, 'I don't think I can play this piece.' And she would say, 'Can you play the first note?' I said, 'Yes.' 'Can you play the second note?' 'Yes.' 'Well, then you can probably play the piece.'"
[from interview with 'The Sydney Morning Herald,' published October 29, 2011.]
he formed a highly acclaimed trio known as the "Standards Trio." Known for his wild and melodic improvisational jazz performances, Jarrett is considered one of the most original and prolific jazz musicians of the late 20th century.
The eldest of five boys, Keith Jarrett was born on May 8, 1945, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to parents Daniel and Irma Jarrett. Jarrett's mother worked to encourage and motivate her son's talents during his youth. By the age of 3, he was already playing the piano. "When I was a little kid and I was studying piano," Jarrett remembered in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in October 2011, "I would get music that would look too difficult, so occasionally I remember saying to my mother, 'I don't think I can play this piece.' And she would say, 'Can you play the first note?' I said, 'Yes.' 'Can you play the second note?' 'Yes.' 'Well, then you can probably play the piece.'"
Throughout his childhood, Jarrett was classically trained by local piano teachers and attended programs at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. He later received a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After finishing just one year of the program, he received an offer to move to Paris, France, and study under famed composer and conductor Nadia Boulanger. Instead of taking the opportunity to further his classical training, however, a 19-year-old Jarrett moved to New York City in favor of pursuing a jazz music career.
New York City was an ideal place for a young prodigy to begin a career in jazz in the 1960s. Jarrett attended weekly jam sessions at the Village Vanguard jazz club in Greenwich Village, which led to his involvement in a number of projects, including performing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and joining the immensely popular Charles Lloyd Quartet as the band's acoustic pianist. The Quartet toured throughout the United States and Western Europe, recording live albums to wild acclaim.
In 1969, Jarrett formed a trio with fellow musicians Charlie Haden (on bass) and Paul Motian (on drums). Aside from his own trio, Jarrett performed almost constantly with notable jazz musicians of the time. Also during this period, he began touring on electric piano with legendary musician Miles Davis.
Jarrett's staggering talent on the acoustic piano was showcased best when he performed solo. Jarrett released his first principle album, entitled Life Between the Exit Signs, in 1968. Two years later, he began recording with record producer and ECM Records founder Manfred Eicher.
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