Born: September 3, 1974 Primary Instrument: Piano
Toby Koenigsberg has performed in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Puerto Rico; in Barrie, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta in Canada; in Paris, France; in London, England; in Helsinki and Järvenpää, Finland; and in Kawanoe Chuo City, Japan. He has performed with Marian McPartland, Rich Perry, Ron Miles, Ben Monder, Bill Holman, Eddie Gomez, and others. He tours regularly, performing at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival Calgary, the Tony Williams Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, the Royal Academy of Music, the Knitting Factory in New York City, and elsewhere. His most recent CD, Sense (Origin Records), garnered praise from Cadence, the All Music Guide, All About Jazz - New York, and other publications, and has received airplay on dozens of radio stations throughout the United States and internationally. His first CD, Push, features the great saxophonist Rich Perry. Koenigsberg has been honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and while attending the Eastman School of Music he received the Schirmer Award, given to the most outstanding graduate jazz performer in a graduating class.
In addition to performing, Koenigsberg has written numerous works for small and large jazz ensembles and for studio orchestra. Downbeat magazine awarded his composition Song for Aki Best Original Song in its 2003 Student Music Awards.
Koenigsberg is also active in jazz scholarship and pedagogy. He is published by the Jazz Education Journal, the official publication of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and by JazzED - the Jazz Educator's Magazine. He has given research presentations on the music of Bud Powell and Herbie Hancock at the 2005 annual conference of the IAJE, the Eastman School of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, Jazz Festival Calgary, and at universities throughout the United States.
Koenigsberg received his Master of Music degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music and pursued graduate study in classical piano at the Peabody Conservatory. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Oregon, where he is now assistant professor of jazz piano and associate director of jazz studies.
On its new CD Sense, the Toby Koenigsberg Trio approaches jazz from intriguing angles, bringing an exciting energy and edginess to originals and standards.... Koenigsberg's dynamic playing spurs drummer Jason Palmer and bassist Tyler Abbott on to greater heights.... With its humor, sense of style and flat-out chops ... (the Trio) upend(s) conventional song structures and expand(s) contemporary definitions of jazz with an iconoclasm that’s always been in the music’s best tradition. -Terell Holmes, All about Jazz, review of Sense
(Koenigsberg) has an extraordinarily broad range, rapid-fire instincts, deep musicality and a serious set of fingers. Easily able to hold his own along local greats like Dan Gaynor, Doug Haning or Randy Porter, Koenigsberg leans toward a dynamic modern approach that careens from sullen, moody Bill Evans-isms to more churning pianistic ka-blam (à la Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau), and it's a fresh treat. -Tim DuRoche, Willamette Week (Portland, Oregon), performance announcement
Koenigsberg has excellent technique and plays as though he doesn't have anything to prove. -Disk Union (diskunion.net), review of Sense (translated from the original Japanese)
(The) musicians are excellent. Koenigsberg uses the entire keyboard ... and he’s faster than lightning. -Ric Bang, The Davis Enterprise (Davis, California), review of Sense
(Sense is) a mind-stretching trio affair.... Ideally, this highly recommended CD by the Toby Koenigsberg Trio is best enjoyed in a quiet room devoid of distractions, with low lighting and a glass of a favorite vintage wine. -Ken Dryden, All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com), review of Sense
(Sense is) highly musical and inventive.... Toby's lovely pianistic touch is readily apparent.... This CD is very musical and, above all, musically innovative which is what jazz players should always strive for. The group is very tight and thinks creatively as a whole, with each player distinguishing himself in a musically unique and technically adept way. They have established themselves as a first-rate jazz trio which I hope will return to the studio again soon. -John Ferrara, Jazz Radio 247 (www.jazzradio247.com), review of Sense
On Sense, pianist Toby Koenigsberg's trio offers up a wistful and straightforward take on the American Songbook classic 'My Foolish Heart,' including a poignant, spare reading of the familiar melody. However, everything else on the disc pushes the boundaries.... (Sense is) a fascinatingly forward-leaning approach to the jazz trio. -Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz (allaboutjazz.com), review of Sense
(Toby Koenigsberg's group is a) world-class trio.... This is musical performance and technique of the highest order. -Mary Burlingame, KMHD 89.1 FM, Portland, Oregon (www.kmhd.org), live radio broadcast performance announcement
Koenigsberg (captivated) the audience with his fresh and rich music. His unique drive and style ... enthralled the audience.... (Never Let Me Go) was slow and dark, yet the hauntingly inviting melodies captured the audience' s rapt attention.... (Koenigsberg has a) spectacular tone and vivacity... -Meg Granum, Manitou Messenger (Northfield, Minnesota), performance review
This is an absolutely superb piano trio delivering a magnificent program.... There are numerous treasures contained in this disc. Koenigsberg and Abbott tend to periodically display their classical learnings in some sections. (This can never be fully repressed and makes for some beautiful light-touch keyboards and sumptuous bass.) At other times the group swings and drives like crazy. I just love this one! -Birney K. Brown, Audiophile Audition (www.audaud.com), review of Sense
(Koenigsberg) has already reached such a lofty plateau. His compositions are equal to peers twice his age and show a maturity beyond his years. -George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon (www.jsojazzscene.org), review of Push
Variant Strain is a beautiful and haunting original... -John Ferrara, Jazz Radio 247 (www.jazzradio247.com), review of Sense
The leader’s Variant Strain is a constantly shifting work that evolves subtly... -Ken Dryden, All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com), review of Sense
His Song for Aki (is) a lyrical and accessible tune, full of vivid instrumental colors. On Sunday, Koenigsberg and his band gave the tune a bracing account. -John Pitcher, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), performance review