All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Jean-Michel Pilc

Jean-Michel Pilc Jean-Michel Pilc

Born in 1960 in Paris, now an American citizen, self-taught pianist and composer Jean-Michel Pilc has performed with numerous jazz giants: Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Jean Toussaint, Rick Margitza, Martial Solal, Michel Portal, Daniel Humair, Marcus Miller, Kenny Garrett, Lenny White, Chris Potter, John Abercrombie, Mingus Dynasty & Big Band, Lew Soloff, Richard Bona etc. He has also worked with Harry Belafonte, as his musical director and pianist, and has performed a duet with the legendary opera singer Jessye Norman.

Jean-Michel moved to New York City in 1995. There, he formed a trio with François Moutin (bass) and Ari Hoenig (drums). They recorded a one-week engagement at the legendary jazz club Sweet Basil and, in 2000, released two CDs: Together - Live at Sweet Basil, NYC - Vol. 1 & 2 (A-Records). Pilc then signed a record deal with Dreyfus Jazz. His first album for Dreyfus, Welcome Home (featuring the same trio), was released in 2002. Jean-Michel's next recording, Cardinal Points, was released the following year. It featured his extended work Trio Sonata, created with generous support from Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

In 2004, Jean-Michel released his first solo album, Follow Me (Dreyfus). Then he returned to trio format to record Live at Iridium, NYC, in 2004, New Dreams in 2006, and True Story in 2009 (featuring Billy Hart). This was also a period of intensive touring all over the world.

Read more

Tags

Album Review
Film Review
Album Review
Live Review
Album Review
Read more articles
”His densely harmonic reinventions of standards you thought you knew clearly shows a musical genius at work.” Eric Brace, The Washington Post

“There may be no more diverse, unpredictable jazz piano player, song to song, than Jean-Michel Pilc.” Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes

“A dazzlingly inventive pianist.” Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Jean-Michel Pilc belongs right in the front row.” John Fordham, Guardian Unlimited (UK, **** review)

“One of the astounding jazz piano trios of the past decade.” Don Williamson, Jazz Review

“Mr Pilc seems to have dropped from the sky fully formed, with technique and his ideas in place

Read more

Primary Instrument

Piano

Location

Montreal

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Jean-Michel has also built a strong international reputation as a very unique educator. Between 2006 and 2015, he was a NYU Steinhardt faculty member, giving private lessons (piano and other instruments), ensemble classes and improvisation workshops. He was Co-Director of NYU Summer Jazz Improv Workshop in 2010. Jean-Michel also taught for the New School in NYC, as well as privately. At the same time, he released a book, It's About Music - The Art and Heart of Improvisation (Glen Lyon) and an educational video for all instruments, True Jazz Improvisation (JazzHeaven), followed by another video for JazzHeaven, Transcending the Instrument, about piano playing and practicing. All have been praised by his colleagues, and highly influential in the field of jazz education. Since September 2015, Jean-Michel is an Associate Professor at The Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. There, he is teaching jazz, piano, and improvisation (all instruments), and also a Seminar on improvisation in all styles to 30 McGill jazz and classical students. He has acted as Jazz Area Chair between 2016 and 2018. Jean-Michel also keeps releasing pedagogical material, including 2 video masterclasses on Improvisational Fluency for MyMusicMasterclass.com, as well as a masterclass in French, Anatomie d'un standard, for iMusic School.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Read more

Photos

Albums

Album Dressed in a Song by JD Walter

Dressed in a Song

JWAL Records
2020

buy
Album What Is This Thing Called? by Jean-Michel Pilc

What Is This Thing...

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
Album What Is This Thing Called? (Jean-Michel Pilc) by Jean-Michel Pilc

What Is This Thing...

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
Album Composing by Jean-Michel Pilc

Composing

Storyville Records
2015

buy
Album True Story by Jean-Michel Pilc

True Story

Dreyfus Records
2010

buy

Watch

Similar

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.