Adam Ward

Adam Ward

BandFolkJazz

I'm a singer/songwriter with a diverse musical background. My guitar songs are folksy and bluesy. My piano songs are jazzy with a tinge of classical. They all have interesting stories, beautiful melodies and compelling musicality.

Biography

The Salt Lake Tribune's music critic compared my writing style to Lucinda Williams (which is cool), and my voice to Cher (which is a little weird, considering I'm a man). He also thought it was remarkable that I dropped out of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to pursue my own music.

My mom started teaching me piano lessons at age 3, and within a few years I was composing my own music. By age 9, I had already been a guest presenter at a college composition class and performed my pieces at the Cache Valley Composers' Festival.

At age 15, after many years of attending Utah State University's Youth Conservatory and studying under Dr. Dianne Hardy, I began teaching piano myself. Although teaching wasn't my favorite job, it sure beat milking cows, and paid better too. Besides giving me date money and keeping gas in my '68 Mustang, it also put me through college.

In college I studied jazz under Dr. Larry Smith, because no matter how well I played a Mendelssohn concerto, classical music somehow didn't have the same coolness factor when it came to wooing the girls.

Along with playing in the jazz band at Utah State, I also joined the USU Chorale. The Chorale required an audition, which I passed more on account of the director's son being a piano student of mine than on the merit of my voice. It was not until later in my 20s that I took voice lessons and really learned how to sing.

After college I attended grad school in New Orleans, where I soaked up the Crescent City's incredible music scene. Interestingly, my time there had a greater impact on my singing than my jazz playing. I started singing with the New Orleans Symphony Chorus, and the thrill of choral singing with a professional orchestra was like nothing I had ever experienced.

Upon moving back to Utah I immediately joined the Utah Symphony Chorus. Then a few years later I found myself at the pinnacle of choral singing as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, where I performed with some of the best musicians in the world, recorded 11 CDs and DVDs, and toured throughout the United States and Canada.

In my 30s I started guitar lessons, then later picked up the accordion. Although the piano will always be my primary instrument, I find it hard to pick up the guitar and not have a new song present itself. Whereas the piano almost always demands complexity when I'm creating music, the guitar is just the opposite for me.

After spending a decade as one among hundreds of performers, always careful to blend with my fellow singers and adapt to the inspiration of another composer, I decided to swing the pendulum back as far as it could go: to that of a solo performer. Now when I perform it is just my voice, my accompaniment, my inspiration. I find it quite liberating.

Today, my many years of studying theory, piano, voice, guitar, and sitting behind an orchestra are giving shape to my poetry, storytelling and propensity to create music, in whatever musical form it happens to take.

Discography

The Door, released 2008, contains the following 12 songs:
• Something Like You
• Street Cellist
• We is Us
• If My Lady Were an Automobile
• Inmate and the MD
• Now that I've Found You
• Brothers
• I'm bad
• Four Questions
• The Best Ex I Ever Had
• Idaho in Love
• Backhoe Man
• Something Called Love
• Lost Soul
• What Did You Tell the Kids?
• The Door

Singles:
• Christmas in Harlem
• Lord, is There Room in Thy Kingdom?

Set List

Typical set list is an hour, half on the piano (jazz) and half on the guitar (folk).