Born: March 9, 1960 Primary Instrument: Piano
Creative pianist, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, composer/arranger, collaborator, author and educator, Bradley Sowash has performed with such luminaries as The Cab Calloway Orchestra and The Mills Brothers. As a soloist and bandleader, he has delighted listeners of all ages in concert halls and churches throughout the United States and Europe for over two decades garnering enthusiastic reviews in national publications including The Village Voice and Billboard Magazine. His broadcast credits include National Public Radio and he has been a frequent guest on the PBS-TV series, The Piano Guy for seven seasons. His publications include several volumes of jazz hymn arrangements published by Augsburg Fortress Press and educational jazz piano books published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company and Houston Enterprises. He also writes and arranges for ensembles of all sizes from string quartets to big bands and full orchestras.
Awards:In 1999, he was the featured artist at the Arts Midwest 15-state regional conference in Cleveland, Ohio. He is listed in John Schaefer's book, New Sounds: A Listener's Guide to New Music and in Katherine Teck's Movement to Music. Sowash has received numerous grants from the Ohio Arts Council as well as from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Hazelbaker Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Sowash's music powerfully conjures the moods. - Village Voice
Bradley Sowash is quite simply one of the best pianists on the contemporary scene. - Solo Piano Publications
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
I mentor intermediate to advanced musicians wishing to expand their skills in jazz, improvisation, theory and composition. I prefer new students to be 12 or older and already know how to play at least the major scales (minor also is even better), be able to read moderately well and have a genuine interest in jazz and improvisation as opposed to turning to jazz only because they are bored with traditional lessons (jazz is harder). I seek to teach an equal balance between the eye and the ear so that all students become capable readers and improvisers. The repertoire is ¼ classical and ¾ jazz. I also assign technical exercises and music theory along the way. Students must understand that, ultimately, musicians teach themselves through consistent practice, listening, reading and investigation. With only two lessons per month, I see my job as providing inspiration and corrections as well as pointing the way toward improvement. I teach a one-hour lesson every other week scheduled between 1:00 and 5:30 Tuesday - Thursday. I don't teach weekends or evenings. The first lesson is an evaluation to see if the student is ready for jazz and, if they are, for me to find out what they know and don’t know so I won’t be redundant with their previous experience. It's also for the student to evaluate whether what I offer is consistent with their goals. A commitment is required for the academic year running from the beginning of September through the end of June consisting of 20 lessons of 55 minute duration scheduled every other week. However, single "master class" lessons are can be arranged on an "as available" basis for students or teachers seeking short term "tune-ups."
1. Training for traditional (non-jazz) piano teachers Bradley Sowash's time-tested techniques will enliven your students' interest in music – helping your best readers get “out” of the music, and helping those who tend to play be ear get motivated to read their music with ease. Sowash has developed this successful approach to jazz piano through many years of teaching his own students, and will show you how to incorporate it alongside the method books and classical selections that you already choose for your students. This workshop is designed specifically for traditional studio piano teachers who have little or no experience with jazz or blues but would like to integrate these styles into their teaching and playing. Through lecture, demonstration, written example, and hands-on experience, participants will learn how to integrate a teaching approach that involves personal expression, improvisation and the applied knowledge of music theory. 2. For first time improvisers: Improvisation is an approach to making music that can be applied to any instrument or style. And you don’t have to be a genius to do it! Every musician should know how to improvise for all kinds of conditions such as "traveling" music for ceremonies, underpinning presentations and more. In this workshop, Sowash offers step-by-step musical tools and practical tips to get students improvising immediately. Participants are encouraged to bring their instruments, an open mind and a ready smile to this hands-on workshop.