Jon Cowherd

Although Mercy is Jon Cowherd’s first album under his own name, the esteemed pianist/composer/arranger/producer is already firmly established as one of the jazz world’s most accomplished, expressive and in-demand young musicians. Cowherd was born in Kentucky and raised in New Orleans. He is based in New York. His long-standing partnership with Brian Blade, drummer/bandleader, is what makes Cowherd so well-known. Their acclaimed, influential albums highlight Cowherd’s unique compositional abilities and stellar keyboard skills. Cowherd has collaborated extensively with many musicians and singers in the pop, jazz and rock worlds, while Cowherd is not recording or touring with the Fellowship. Mercy, despite his impressive resume, is the most compelling example of Jon Cowherd’s extraordinary sensitivity, inventiveness, and versatility. The sterling set was recorded in a three-day session at New York’s Avatar Studios. It features ten Cowherd originals. His sublime keyboard work anchors an all-star quartet which includes Bill Frisell (electric and acoustic guitars), John Patitucci (acoustic bass) and Brian Blade (drums). Cowherd’s creative achievements are evident in the album, which includes “The Columns”, “Postlude,” and “Mercy Suite,” as well as the ambitious “Postlude” and “Recital Hour (Timmy’s Theme),” which showcase his talents as an instrumentalist as well as composer. Cowherd describes Mercy as a personal landmark. Although I have the freedom to record my own music thanks to my collaboration with Brian Blade, I felt the need to make my own statement. This idea was daunting for me, and I didn’t feel ready until the last few years. Before I could be a leader, I felt my playing needed to improve. I gained that confidence by studying classical piano with Jeff Goldstein between 2001 and 2009. Cowherd has dedicated his life to enhancing his musical skills and expanding his musical horizons. Cowherd was the son of music educators and musician parents in Kentucky. He began his musical journey at an early age, learning to play piano, french horn, and violin. He moved to New Orleans in 1988 to study at Loyola University. He studied jazz piano and improvisation with Ellis Marsalis, the Crescent City pianist, and noted musicians John Mahoney and Steve Masakowski. He was also a member of Delfeayo and Tony Marsalis’ local bands, and he played with the New Orleans Symphony and Opera as well as the New Orleans Ballet. Cowherd arrived in New York in 1993 to earn a Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in Jazz Studies. Cowherd met Brian Blade, a fellow Loyola student. Together they would create the Brian Blade Fellowship. The Brian Blade Fellowship, which featured Blade on drums and Cowherd playing piano and both sharing the compositional duties, has been a lasting and rewarding creative unit. They have released the albums Brian Blade Fellowship (Blue Note), Perceptual (Blue Note 2000) and Season of Changes(Verve 2008). Cowherd’s keyboard and producing skills as well as his arranging and arranging abilities have kept him busy with a variety of projects. Cassandra Wilson currently has him as a member of her band. His instrumental work graces albums by Norah Jones and Rosanne Wilson. He’s also recorded with such top musicians as Kurt Rosenwinkel and Kurt Lanois. Cowherd is a producer and has produced albums by Lizz Wright (Alyssa Graham) and The Local NYC. Cowherd was also the co-musical director and keyboardist at the Joni Jazz all-star concert at Hollywood Bowl in honour of Joni Mitchell. He performed with Chaka Khan and Kurt Elling as well as Glen Hansard, Glen Hansard, Glen Hansard, and Herbie Hancock. From

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