- 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
Best Known For
Keith Jarrett is an American pianist and composer known for his wild and melodic improvisational jazz performances.
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As a solo artist, Jarrett's unique stage presence and astounding ability to improvise entire concerts flawlessly completely captivated audiences. No one had previously witnessed an artist so capable of blending the modern sounds of jazz with the style of classical music so effortlessly, or with such conviction. Jarrett had certainly created a style all his own, and audiences noticed.
Quickly gaining popularity,
Jarrett recorded the album The Köln Concert at the Cologne Opera House in Cologne (Köln), Germany, in January 1975. Released later that year through ECM, The Köln Concert went on to become the best-selling piano album of all time as well as the best-selling solo album in jazz history, selling more than 3 million copies. Around this same time, Jarrett toured and recorded with Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek, collaborating on albums such as Belonging (1974), Arbour Zena (1975), My Song (1977) and Nude Ants (1979).
In 1983, Jarrett collaborated with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette to record an album of jazz standards, entitled Standards, Vol. 1. The three soon became known as the "Standards Trio," and would continue to record and perform together for nearly 30 years.
The early '80s also marked Jarrett's return to classical music, as he would perform solo parts of concerti with orchestras.
Though he briefly retired from performing after being diagnosed in 1996 with chronic fatigue syndrome, which prevented him from touring and caused him to be bound to his home for extended periods of time, Jarrett has continued to contribute to albums in his later years. Too weak to leave his home due to his condition, Jarrett had a studio installed in his home—a farmhouse in Oxford Township, New Jersey—around this time.
Jarrett has been the recipient of several awards, including the Polar Music Prize (2003) and the Léonie Sonning Music Prize (2004). In 2010, The Köln Concert was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Jarrett was later named the 2014 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters Award—the nation's highest honor in jazz.
While attending Berklee, Jarrett reconnected with a high school girlfriend, Margot Erney. The two married in 1964 and had two sons, Gabriel and Noah, before splitting in 1973.
In 1980, Jarrett wed Rose Anne Colavito. A love letter that Jarrett wrote to his second wife inspired his next album, The Melody at Night, With You, released in 1999. Jarrett and Colavito split in 2008, after 30 years of marriage.
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