Recently listed in the 2012 and 2013 DownBeat Critics Polls, composer/pianist Ezra Weiss has released six CD’s as a leader: The Five A.M. Strut (2003), Persephone (2005), Get Happy (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2009), The Shirley Horn Suite (2010), and Our Path To This Moment (2012). All of these CD’s have received substantial national and international acclaim from press and radio.
Ezra has composed and/or arranged music for Billy Hart, Thara Memory, Leon Lee Dorsey, Stan Bock, and Renato Caranto, among others, and has performed with Billy Hart, Greg Bandy, Michael Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Thara Memory, Renato Caranto, and Dennis Rowland, and co-led the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz Orchestra. He has led bands in many of the U.S.’s greatest clubs including Dizzys Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, the 55 Bar, and Tonic in NYC; Ryles in Boston; Nighttown in Cleveland; Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia; The Triple Door in Seattle; Jimmy Mak’s in Portland; and the Catalina Bar and Grill in Los Angeles.
Ezra has also composed music and lyrics to three children’s musicals: Alice in Wonderland: a Jazz Musical (2009) Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2010), and Cinderella (2013). All of these musicals were designed to expose young children to jazz. Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella were named one of the Top 10 Cast Albums of 2009 and 2013 respectively by TalkinBroadway.com.
Ezra has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times. He holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Masters in Jazz Piano Performance from Queens College. His teachers have included Wendell Logan, Neal Creque, and Bruce Barth. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches at Portland State University.