Jeff Gardner was born in New York and moved to Brasil in 2002. After classical piano lessons with Ruth Schontal and Ivan Tcherepnin he studied jazz with Jaki Byard, Charles Banacos, Don Friedman, and John Lewis, and harmony with Nadia Boulanger. He has performed with such musicians as Kenny Wheeler, Gary Peacock, Norma Winstone, Eddie Harris, Steve Lacy, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Sheppard, Rick Margitza, Nelson Veras, Dominique di Piazza, Paulo Moura, Lisa Ono, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Victor Assis Brasil, Dori Caymmi, Karim Ziad, Sheila Jordan, Ron McClure, Drew Gress, Ndugu Chancler, Dave Carpenter, Charlie Mariano, André Ceccarelli, Riccardo del Fra, Hein van de Geyn, Lars Daniellson, Guillermo Anderson, and the piano quartet with Jaki Byard, Martial Solal, and Paul Bley.
He has performed as a solo artist or as a leader at: Nice Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, San Rafael Festival, Maison de la Radio France, Jazz D'Or Festival, New Morning, October Jazz Festival in Saint Lucia, German National Radio (Berlin), Jazz a la Plantation Festival and CMAC in Martinique, Centre des Arts (Guadeloupe), Groningen Jazz Days, Bimhuis, Madajazzcar Festival, Lille World Jazz Festival, Birdseye, etc. and done innumerable European tours with his own group or with co-leader Rick Margitza on sax. In 1996 Jeff took his trio on a three week tour of the Japanese Blue Note Clubs with Brazilian singer Lisa Ono. He has also toured extensively with the young Brazilian guitar virtuoso, Nelson Veras (who joined Jeff's band at age 14!). In Latin America, Jeff has performed under the auspices of the U.S. State Department on tours of Mexico, Republica Dominicana, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, and Paraguay, as well as concerts in Chile and Ecuador. Jeff's 15 CD's as a leader include ”Spirit Call” (solo), “Continuum”, with Eddie Gomez and Billy Hart, “Alchemy”, with Gary Peacock, “Second Home”, with Rick Margitza, “Sky Dance” (recorded in Rio de Janeiro) with Gilberto Gil, Carlos Malta, Nivaldo Ornellas, Mou Brasil, Artur Maia, etc. and “Noches Habaneras”, recorded in Havana, Cuba, with Anga, Maraca, Julio Barreto, Diego Valdez, and Felipe Cabrera. Jeff’s CD, “The Music of Chance” is a collection of music inspired by the writings of Paul Auster and features Rick Margitza, Ingrid Jensen, and Drew Gress. Other recent recordings include ”Street Angels”, also recorded in Rio with Marcos Suzano, Marcelo Martins, Alexandre Carvalho, Jorge Helder, etc., “Grace” with David Friesen, and “Abraços”, with Carlos Balla and Alberto Continentino. His newest release, Breath (Terramar), features Drew Gress and Anthony Pinciotti. Jeff is a versatile musician, equally at home with jazz, new music (his duo with Andrew Schloss on radio drum), and Brazilian sounds. He recently wrote and performed his first piano concerto in Sao Caetano do Sul (Brasil). Upcoming releases include Look Inside, Jeff's first Nu Jazz outing, with Pierre Comblat and an all-star cast including Rick Margitza, Nelson Veras, Karim Ziad, Fifi Chayeb, Linley Marthe, Flaco Nuñes (ex Orixas), Anga, Sidinho Moreira, Carlos Balla, and Marcia Kern, as well as a solo piano CD - “24 Jazz Preludes”. Also in preparation for release is Lightsong, a classical-jazz fusion duo with soprano S'Ange Susan Belling, featuring Jeff’s jazz arrangements of Debussy, Granados, Fauré, Villa Lobos, and other modern composers.