This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode welcomes jazz pianist, composer, educator Jeremy Siskind, Fullerton College.
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Every JazzPianoSkills weekly podcast episode introduces aspiring jazz pianists to essential Jazz Piano Skills. Each Podcast episode explores a specific Jazz Piano Skill in depth. Today you will discover, learn, play with special guest Jeremy Siskind.
Discover: How Jeremy Siskind approaches the study of Jazz Piano
Learn: What Jeremy Siskind thinks about theory, technique, transcriptions
Play: Some of the exercises that Jeremy Siskind uses to improve his jazz piano skills
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Jazz Faculty, Fullerton College
Pianist-composer Jeremy Siskind is “a genuine visionary” (Indianapolis Star) who “seems to defy all boundaries” (JazzInk) with music “rich in texture and nuance” (Downbeat). A top finisher in several national and international jazz piano competitions, Siskind is a two-time laureate of the American Pianists Association and the winner of the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition. Since making his professional debut juxtaposing Debussy’s Etudes with jazz standards at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Siskind has established himself as one of the nation’s most innovative and virtuosic modern pianists.
Siskind’s multifaceted career often finds him combining musical styles and breaking aesthetic norms. As the leader of “The Housewarming Project,” Siskind has not only created “a shining example of chamber jazz” (Downbeat) whose albums often land on critics’ “best of the year” lists. He’s also established himself as a pioneer of the in-home concert movement by presenting well over 100 in-home concerts in 26 states. In 2020, the Housewarming Project was a winner of a $30,000 grant from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program (supported by the Doris Duke Foundation).
On an recent duo album, Impressions of Debussy, Siskind explores Debussy’s Preludes through improvisation with saxophonist Andrew Rathbun. Similarly, his 2019 book-CD project, Perpetual Motion Etudes for Piano, blurs the line between classical, through-composed, piano etudes and jazz-based improvisations and invites other pianists to do the same through a beautifully self-published work that includes “Optional Improvisation Instructions” for each piece. Siskind has been experimenting with performing the pieces in collaboration with classical pianists, including Grammy-winner Angelin Chang, and through university residencies. Other projects include writing concert arrangements for rising star soprano Julia Bullock, composing the theme song for the 2017 Obie Awards, and serving as musical director for noted comediennes Lea DeLaria and Sandra Bernhard.
A highly-respected educator, Siskind has written 13 publications with Hal Leonard, including the landmark instructional books Jazz Band Pianist and First Lessons in Piano Improv. His self-published instructional book, Playing Solo Jazz Piano, which includes an introduction from jazz piano legend Fred Hersch, is generally one of the top 50 best-selling jazz books on Amazon.com. He currently teaches at California’s Fullerton College, chairs the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy’s “Creativity Track,” and spreads peace through music in places like Lebanon, Tunisia, and Thailand with the non-profit organization, Jazz Education Abroad. Jeremy Siskind is a Yamaha artist.