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Grant Simpson

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Born: March 25, 1959    Primary Instrument: Piano

The dynamism and exhilaration that defines solo jazz piano began with the great stride piano masters of the 20s and 30s. These innovators, such as Thomas 'Fats' Waller, James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith, pioneered a style and shaped an era that was, and continues to be, the most comprehensive and joyful jazz piano style in history . . . the style known as Stride Piano.

As a teenager, I heard a recording of “Fats” Waller and was immediately captivated and inspired. I enrolled in traditional music lessons and amidst a conventional study of the classics, began “picking out” sections of the Fats Waller and James P Johnson recordings by ear....
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