Primary Instrument: Piano
Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss was born on January 16, 1979, the only child of Barry and Lillie Weiss. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was active in community theater, both as an actor and a musical director. He was also involved in band programs, and studied piano with Larry Loeber. After graduating from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ezra moved to Ohio to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
At Oberlin, Ezra studied composition with Wendell Logan and piano with Neal Creque. During his senior year, Ezra formed the jazz sextet Blues Connotation. In 2001, he received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition and moved to Portland, Oregon.
In Portland, Ezra continued to lead Blues Connotation, which later became the Ezra Weiss Sextet. Ezra also began teaching at the Beaverton Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, Self Enhancement Inc., the WOU Mel Brown Jazz Camp, and the Northwest Children's Theater, where he musical directed numerous productions as well. During this time, Ezra studied piano with Gordon Lee.
In 2002, Ezra flew to New York City for a week to record his debut CD, The Five A.M. Strut. Released a year later on the Umoja label, the CD features Michael Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Kelly Roberge, Leon Lee Dorsey, and Billy Hart. The Five A.M. Strut received great attention from the press and spent time on both the JazzWeek and CMJ radio charts.
In 2005, Ezra released his second sextet CD, Persephone, on the Umoja label. Again, the album received excellent reviews and radio airplay.
Ezra has composed and/or arranged music for Leon Lee Dorsey, Billy Hart, Thara Memory, Stan Bock, and Renato Caranto, among others. He has also performed with many great musicians including Greg Bandy, Elif Caglar, Samantha Grabler, Thara Memory, Rob Scheps, Renato Caranto, The Original Cats, Dennis Springer, Ben Fowler, Roger Woods, Farnell Newton, Ki Allen and Dennis Rowland. Additionally, Ezra won the 2002 and 2005/2006 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. Currently, he also co-leads the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz Orchestra in New York.
The Ezra Weiss Sextet has performed in many great clubs, including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and Tonic in New York City, Ryles in Boston, The Triple Door in Seattle, Jimmy Mak's in Portland, and Catalina's in Los Angeles.
In 2004, Ezra moved to New York City to pursue a Masters in Jazz Piano at the Aaron Copland School of Music. There, he studied piano with Bruce Barth and Ted Rosenthal. Ezra recently graduated and continues to work in New York City.