Born: February 6 Primary Instrument: Piano
Jen Allen is a jazz pianist whose debut solo album “Pieces of Myself” was released in June 2011. The album features Dave Baron on bass, Lee Fish on drums, Kris Allen on alto, Josh Evans on trumpet and Andrew Renfroe on guitar.
In May 2001, Allen was chosen as one of only eight pianists from around the world to participate in the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Allen has played with many jazz greats including Nat Reeves, Jimmy Greene, Dezron Douglas, Charles Flores and Kris Allen. She has performed in venues throughout the world including the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, the Cambridge Festival of the Arts, the Greater Hartford Monday Night Jazz Series, and with many groups including Kendrick Oliver’s New Life Orchestra, the collaborative New Unity Quartet and other jazz and creative music ensembles.
Allen has taught at the Litchfield Jazz Camp, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, The University of Hartford, University of Connecticut Community School of the Arts Jazz Camp, and Trinity College.
A native of Foxboro, Massachusetts, Allen was originally a cellist who started playing jazz piano as a favor to her high school band director, and it was then that she found her true artistic voice. She received a Performing Arts scholarship to pursue her Bachelors in Music performance at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The Hartt School. As a student, Allen was able to study under Jackie McLean, Steve Davis, and Andy LaVerne.