With his highly regarded discography, unique compositions, and acclaimed performances in a variety of configurations, pianist Geoffrey Keezer commands the attention typically reserved for the living legends of jazz. Whether recording with jazzy chanteuses Diana Krall or Dianne Reeves, touring with trumpet king Chris Botti, or collaborating with pop icon Sting, sax legend Wayne Shorter, guitar wizard Jim Hall, star bassist Christian McBride or vibes master Joe Locke, Geoffrey "has more than enough virtuosity and sheer musical wit and intelligence to weave all of his apparently disparate strands of influence into an original and compelling whole" (Time Magazine).
A native of Eau Claire, WI, Keezer was playing in jazz clubs as a teenager, holding down the piano chair for Art Blakey at age 18, and touring in the company of Joshua Redman, Benny Golson and Ray Brown in his 20s. More recently he has toured with David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Joe Locke and Christian McBride; worked with vocalist Denise Donatelli on projects garnering three GRAMMY® nominations, and released a series of albums drawing influences from Hawaiian, Okinawan and Afro-Peruvian folk traditions. Perhaps the most exciting turn in Geoffrey's career is his recent focus on solo piano and his first solo release in thirteen years, Heart of the Piano (2013, Motema Records). On a mission to redefine solo jazz piano as a personal and interactive showcase of melody, energy and groove, Keezer brings to Heart of the Piano his most direct and focused artistry to date.
Barely into his 40s, Geoffrey Keezer's singular style of intellectually abstract lyricism woven over exotically complex rhythms and harmonies makes him one of the most sought-after artists on the modern jazz scene. Regardless of the nature of his projects, from solo to duo to quartet, from bandleader to big band, from post bop jazz to electronica to global fusion, from composer to arranger, Geoffrey delivers music from the heart of the piano to the ear--and heart--of the listener.
Gillian Margot is the rarest sort of singer - the kind that makes people situp and listen. She has an exquisite voice, a disarmingly wide range and a style that is deeply rooted in the tradition of the great jazz vocalists, yet she possesses a gift of storytelling and emotionally intelligent lyrical delivery. It is clear that Ms. Margot feels equally at home in the musical worlds of jazz, R&B and pop, and offers a stage presence and confidence honed through years of performing for audiences worldwide.
A native of Toronto, Margot started in jazz the old-fashioned way, playing several sets a night and leading a wide variety of ensembles and studying under a generation of jazz legends including Oscar Peterson, Freddy Cole, Carol Welsman, and Norman Simmons. Considered a young stalwart of the Canadian jazz scene, Gillian Margot has expanded her talents beyond borders through collaborations with artists in the United States, Australia, and Asia, where she's earned a devoted following.
A voracious collector of songs across many genres, she's made a name for herself as a stylist who eschews jazz singer clichés in favor of an original, interpretive delivery grounded in a song's lyrical and emotional content. She's played major venues throughout several time zones with top-tier talent from several continents.
In 2010, Gillian Margot independently released A Pink-Filled Skywith her chamber project, the Gillian Margot Trio. An acoustic collaboration of voice, piano and double bass, the album features a spectrum of original contemporary jazz which reveals hints of Margot's classical training and improvisational tendencies.
Ms. Margot’s new album Black Butterfly (Hipnotic 2015) stands in stark contrast to 2010's A Pink Filled Sky. Her first solo effort, Black Butterfly speaks to the singer's passion for musical diversity, an artfully crafted set that showcases her multifaceted talents. Produced by jazz trumpet star Jeremy Pelt, and involving some of the most in-demand musicians on the New York scene, the album blends Great American Songbook standards, intriguing jazz originals, gutbucket blues, contemporary hip-hop flavors and uniquely personal covers of songs by Curtis Mayfield, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, Bobby Caldwell and even 80’s English rockers Simply Red. Black Butterfly is Ms. Margot's first direct overture to the U.S. and international markets and her first recording on HiPNOTIC Records.
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