Ezra Weiss


Bio

Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss has created some of the most personal and compelling music heard today.  He has released six albums as a bandleader:  The Five A.M. Strut (2003), Persephone (2005), Get Happy (2007), The Shirley Horn Suite (2010), Our Path To This Moment (2012), and Before You Know It [Live in Portland] (2014).  All of these CD’s have received substantial national and international acclaim from the press, and have spent significant time on the JazzWeek Radio Charts.

Additionally, Ezra wrote the music for the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble’s multimedia concert and recording, From Maxville To Vanport (2018).  He also wrote the big band arrangements for Derek Hines’ recording The Long Journey Home (2017).  Further, he has composed and/or arranged music for Billy Hart, Jeff Baker, Darrell Grant, Thara Memory, Leon Lee Dorsey, Stan Bock, and Renato Caranto, among others.

Ezra currently leads his own big band and sextet, performing at major jazz festivals and clubs throughout the U.S., including Dizzy’s 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.  He has performed with Billy Hart, Dayna Stephens, Greg Bandy, Michael Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Thara Memory, Renato Caranto, Devin Phillips, Marilyn Keller, Shirley Nanette, and Dennis Rowland, among others, and he co-led the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz Orchestra in New York City.

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 each 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 and has been listed in DownBeat Critics Polls in the Rising Star Arranger category.  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.


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