Jon Regen

Jon Merrill, Jon (Jonathan Merrill), pianist and composer; b. New York, NY 8 May 1970 He was born in Maplewood, New Jersey. Martin Regen was his father, and he was born in New York on May 30, 1939. His mother is Stephanie Regen. She was born in New York on February 13, 1940. Claudia Gabrielle Regen is his only sister. She was born November 16, 1965. He studied with Matt Krempasky, Kenny Barron (1989-93) u0026 Kenny Werner (1994), and Jim McNeely (1987). He was a student at the Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz Program (1987), University of Miami School of Music (88) and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (1989-1993). After a stint at Eastman School of Music, Regen started playing professionally at the piano at age 17. After a year of studying at the University of Miami he went on to study with Kenny Barron, a world-famous pianist and composer at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. Regen recalls his time with Barron as a student. He taught me grace and humility, as well as how to play the piano. About musical elegance. That was only the beginning. Regen graduated from Rutgers University in 1993. He then moved to New York City, where he started a number of small groups that performed in local jazz clubs. Regen recalls that he was a leader of a trio, quartet and duo. He also tried his hand at many different playing situations in order to expand his musical repertoire. You’d find me in a given week playing duo in the village and leading my trio at Smalls. I also led my quartet at Metronome. And sitting-in at Visiones’ late-night jam session. I was determined to continue playing.” Ted Dunbar, the legendary guitarist and teacher of jazz improvisation at Rutgers, was one of those who liked Regen’s piano playing. “Ted called from the Bahamas and informed me that he was starting a new band and wanted me to join it. It was an immense honor and my first major sideman gig. Earl May and David Jones played bass for Regen, who joined the Ted Dunbar Quartet. The band performed to sold out crowds at New York’s Blue Note and other clubs. This brought Dunbar back into the limelight before his death in 1998. In 1996, Regen was one of five international pianists to be selected as a finalist for the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Steinway selected Regen as Runner-Up.

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