ritics have called New York-based pianist/composer Dan Tepfer “brilliant” (the Boston Globe), “inventive” (New York Times) and “certainly among those clearly willing to play with familiar formulas and take new approaches, even as he incorporates strokes from the masters” (Jazzreview.com). While he has played with some of the great names in jazz--Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Bob Brookmeyer and Charles McPherson, to name a few--he strives to create music that is distinctly of our time.
Born in Paris, France, in 1982 to American parents, Tepfer started classical piano studies at the age of six at the Paris Conservatoire Paul Dukas. He soon began to explore improvisation on his own and remained largely self-taught in jazz into his college years. After earning a bachelor’s in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he also played extensively on the jazz scene and enjoyed a brief stint as an opera conductor, he was offered a scholarship to complete his master’s in jazz at the New England Conservatory in Boston under the guidance of Danilo Pérez. Graduating with honors in 2005, he moved to New York City, where he is in demand as a pianist, composer and educator.
His work has been recognized with a number of recent awards, including the first prize and audience prize at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition, the first prize at the 2006 East Coast Jazz Festival Competition, and the first prize at the 2007 competition of the American Pianists Association--leading him to be named the 2007-2009 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz.