Tim Olsen

Tim Olsen is active as composer, performer, and educator. Born in 1961 in St. Paul, Minnesota, his early training involved playing trumpet in marching, concert, and jazz bands. Olsen began writing and arranging for these groups and picked up piano by ear.

He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music (summa cum laude) in music theory and composition from Washington University in St. Louis (1983), a Master of Arts in music theory and composition from the University of Minnesota (1985), and Master of Music (1988), Master of Musical Arts (1989), and Doctor of Musical Arts (1995) in composition from Yale University. As a Fulbright Scholar in 1990-91, Olsen studied with composer Ib Nørholm at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen.

Olsen joined the faculty of Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1994. He is currently Associate Professor of Music and has previously served as Chair of the Music Department and Director of the Africana Studies program. He teaches courses in the music and culture of the United States, Latin America, and Africa; music theory; and jazz improvisation. Olsen is also director of the Union College Jazz Ensemble.

As a jazz pianist and trumpeter, Olsen has played in concert, club, and private venues throughout the United States and in Denmark. The Tim Olsen Band varies in size from a quartet to an 18-piece big band. He also regularly plays piano with the Albany-based Joey Thomas Big Band, for whom he has produced over 50 arrangements and original compositions

Read more



Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings 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 step that will help musicians and venues 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 sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

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