Bob Abanese

Bob Albanese is a pianist, composer and educator from Newark, New Jersey. He is also a prolific performer of jazz and contemporary music. His music has been listened to by people from all over the world, including Japan. It has been described as “swingin’, inspired”, laced with humor and effortless, and beautiful. A listener commented recently about a 2002 live recording from Hawaii Public Radio, saying that it had had a positive impact on his emotional life. Clare Fischer, a legendary composer and pianist, remarked that Bob’s uniqueness, rhythmic and harmonic depth, and fluency of ideas were all things that he enjoyed after listening to a solo performance he gave in Los Angeles in 2006. The Kansas City Star described Albanese’s performance with a formidable jazz ensemble as “the light fluid touch” of pianist Bob Albanese. This was a remarkable and noteworthy feat. Albanese is equally at home in jazz and pop music, as well as theatrical settings. He has collaborated with many artists of great fame. Anita O’Day and Buddy Rich are just a few of the many artists he has recorded, arranged, and performed with. While he has been based in New York ever since 1980, he has also spent considerable time performing across the United States, Europe, Japan and Russia. He was the Honolulu Symphony Pops’ pianist and performed live with national and local artists, including Phil Woods. He also recorded “The Love Within”, his first solo album as a songwriter/multi-keyboardist and singer for the Tropicool Jazz Label. His longest period of stable employment in N.Y.C. was in 1989. He was first hired at the Rainbow Room in 1989 as the house pianist. After playing there for many years, he became an alternating Latin and American Jazz piano player. After his return from Hawaii, he performed there for a time as a solo piano. He has been a studio musician for more than fifty recordings, four of which he recorded under his own name. Sesame Street, Oprah Winfrey were among his clients. He was chosen to be a Jazz Ambassador in 2001 and led Cafe Simpatico’s performance, workshops, and cultural exchange through war-torn Yugoslavia. He currently serves as an accompanist to Ben Vereen. He performs regularly with him as a group pianist or solo accompanist at Mr. Vereen’s keynote speaking/performing engagements. Since 2001, he has been an adjunct jazz teacher at NYU’s Steinhart School and since 2004 at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. Albanese, who is a perpetual student, was awarded a scholarship to finish a B.M. and M.M. The prestigious Manhattan School of Music Jazz Composition. He rose to the occasion and, while he was under the M.S.M. He took on the challenge head-on and while under the M.S.M. umbrella, composed many new works, including a Jazz Philharmonic piece called Samba Esperanca which was performed by Cincinnati Conservatory Philharmonic. He graduated with honors from his formal degrees in BM and MA in May 2006. In April 2006, he was awarded the William C. Borden Award [for outstanding achievement within the field of Jazz]. He has written a variety of original pieces, including lyrics, jazz tunes and pieces for the Philharmonic Orchestra. Cafe Simpatico recently expanded to an 18-piece band and is now playing Albanese’s originals. In the near future, he plans to perform in New York City. He is a great educator. He is approachable, knowledgeable, and focused on helping others. In the mid-70’s, I attended Berklee but was forced to leave after my second year. I moved to Atlantic City to take advantage of the lucrative employment opportunities that gambling offered for musicians. I quickly became disillusioned with the environment and decided to move to New York. Soon after, I joined Buddy Rich’s group and traveled to every small town in the country, from Long Branch N.J. up to Baker, Montana. My life and career have taken many twists, each one enriching me in some way. Despite all the enrichment, I still find the greatest joy in creating. Teaching is one of my favorite creative activities. I am a people person. Everyone has a story. My greatest strength is in helping people tell their stories in music. Assisting and nurturing people in the language music has always been a pleasure. It is like witnessing a miracle, when someone gains a fluency that they have never had before. This allows them to access parts of their own being they didn’t even know existed. I enjoy playing the piano, and I love improvisation. I enjoy working with singers, songwriters, composers. I can help singers improve their individual style, learn how to read and write music, and transpose lead sheets. If they wish, I can also accompany them. I’m open to newbies. It is always a challenge to simplify complex information and I always learn something. In short, I get results”. From

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