Born: January 22, 1992 Primary Instrument: Piano
21 year-old pianist Addison Frei, a native of Lawrence, Kansas, has established a strong reputation amongst musicians and audiences alike. He was recognized as a 2013 Yamaha Young Performing Artist, traveling to Indianapolis to perform for thousands of Music For All students. He participated in the 2013 Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, a two-week residency program held at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Jason Moran. He is also a recipient of the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award sponsored by ASCAP. Addison was awarded first prize in the 2012 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition and was noted as the youngest competitor. Earlier that year, he was a finalist in the Phillips Jazz Piano Competition in Pensacola, Florida. He has recorded for multiple Downbeat Student Music Award winners including the 2013 Graduate winner of best Blues/Pop/Rock group.
Addison recently released his first album as a co-leader, contributing several compositions to AMP Trio’s “Flow” on Armored Records. Featuring Perrin Grace on bass and Matt Young on drums, the trio has toured throughout North America with appearances including ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the Velvet Note in Atlanta, Georgia, and Tranzac in Toronto, Ontario among many others. AMP Trio was featured in the Indie Spotlight section of Downbeat’s June 2013 edition.
Since the fall of 2010, Addison has attended the University of North Texas where he has performed with artists such as Christian McBride, Peter Erskine and Mike Stern to mention a few. He can be heard on the six-time Grammy® nominated One O'Clock Lab Band’s 2013 release. He traveled with the One O’Clock to headline the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. A mainstay of student recitals, Addison has also performed with the UNT Symphony Orchestra and collaborated in a duo piano setting with his teacher, Stefan Karlsson. The faculty at North Texas recognized Addison as the Outstanding Undergraduate Jazz Studies Student for 2013.
Acclaimed amongst fellow professionals, Addison frequently appears with a variety of ensembles in some of the finest DFW-area venues. He has recorded for album releases of local artists such as the Maniacal 4, Sarah Kervin, Fundamental, Spenser Liszt, Emily Merrell and Susan Hanlon. Addison is also an established classical pianist, studying most recently under Arsentiy Kharitonov. He was a finalist in the 2011 Texas Music Teachers Association’s Young Artist Competition. As a high school senior he earned a competitive scholarship from the Topeka Music Teachers Association. Formerly, Addison was a long-time student of North Texas alum Julie Rivers. Addison began playing piano professionally in local restaurants at the age of 10. With encouragement from his parents and teachers, he continued to pursue music, garnering honors such as the Outstanding Soloist of Festival Disney in Orlando, Florida, the University of Kansas Jazz Workshop’s Dick Wright Award, and two-time Kansas All-State Jazz Pianist. He was a featured “Art Star” by the Lawrence Journal-World. He also led the Lawrence High School Drumline and has written drumline music for numerous high schools. Addison holds the academic distinction of being named a National Merit Scholar.
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