Primary Instrument: Piano
Kerry Politzer started picking out melodies on a toy piano at the age of three. The following year, she started playing the real thing. She studied classical piano for fourteen years, attending the North Carolina School of the Arts and summer programs at Tanglewood and Interlochen. She entered the New England Conservatory of Music with the intention of continuing her classical studies, but fell in love with jazz. She studied with jazz guru Charlie Banacos, who inspired her to begin composing, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano Performance.
In 1996, Kerry was one of six finalists in the American Pianists Association's 3rd Biennial Jazz Piano Competition. Half of the contestants were from New York City, so she decided to try her luck there. She soon discovered a brand- new love, Brazilian music, which began to inform her jazz compositions. Her composition Rhodes Rage won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition. Her composition Begin The Baiao won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2000 Mid-Atlantic Song Competition and an Honorable Mention in the 2000 John Lennon Songwriting Competition.
In 2003 and 2005, Kerry attended the Banff Jazz Workshop, performing original music in master classes, shows and concerts. Kerry’s debut CD, Yearning, which received four stars from All Music Guide, was released by CAP Records in 2001. The title track, Yearning, is also featured on Sax And The City: Musical Contributions From New York's Best Women Jazz Instrumentalists (Apria Records, 2004). Kerry released three more CDs on her own Polisonic label: Watercolor (2002), Labyrinth (2005), and the singer- songwriter project You Took Me In (2007). Labyrinth was a finalist for Best Jazz Album in the 2007 Independent Music Awards. A track on You Took Me In, Love Is In The Atmosphere, won 1st Prize, Jazz in the August 2008 Ourstage competition. She performed this song at the Songwriters Hall of Fame's 62nd New Writers Showcase.
Kerry's fifth CD, Blue in Blue, was released by Piloo Records in Spring 2010. She also appeared on three tracks of George Colligan's album Runaway (Sunnyside, 2008) and saxophonist Laura Dreyer's Free Flying Bird (Sony Latin, 2012). Kerry has a sixth CD coming out on the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble label in May 2014.
Some venues where Kerry has played include Wave Hill, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Cutting Room, the Queen Elizabeth 2, the Columbus Jazz & Ribs Festival, Jazz Improv Live, Rockwood Music Hall, the Seattle Women in Jazz Festival, and the Kitano.
Kerry is a member of SESAC. Recently, she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she is currently an adjunct jazz piano instructor at Portland State University.
Blue in Blue
Personnel: Kerry Politzer - piano, Donny McCaslin - sax, Paul Beaudry - bass, George Colligan - drums.
You Took Me In
Personnel: Kerry Politzer - piano, vocals, Tom Guarna - acoustic and electric guitar, Lonnie Plaxico - acoustic bass, Chris Higgins - electric bass, George Colligan - drums, synths and trumpet, Zach Brock - violin.
Personnel: Kerry Politzer - piano, Andrew Rathbun - saxophone, Chris Higgins - bass, George Colligan - drums.
Personnel: Kerry Politzer - piano, Dan Fabricatore - bass, Scott McLemore - drums.
Personnel: Kerry Politzer - piano, Eric Rasmussen - saxophone, Pete Smith - guitar, Howard Britz - bass, Andrea Valentini - drums.
As a Sideman
Runaway (George Colligan)
Sax And The City
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