Keith Javors   "The Free Project"
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Keith Javors "The Free Project"


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Not since Kenny Garrett's Standard of Language and Terence Blanchard's Bounce has there been a post bop album this exciting. Mo' City Jungle is not for the faint-at-heart; this is vital, energized music that is captivating from start to finish. Keith Javors and the entire group deserve to reach a larger audience." -


"Javors gives the lie to the trite statement that those who can't, teach. The young professor leads a piping hot quintet from his piano chair. Like a latter-day Blakey outfit, the listener is witness to searing solo cascading over searing solo -- as if emerging molten from the depths of an active volcano." -

"Jazz Times"

"The performances range from melancholy and contemplative to swinging and bluesy to exuberant and burning -- a solid album from an educator who can do more than teach."
- Jazz Times

"Jazz Education Journal"

"Well worth checking into, his tunes cover a canvas of varied territories and energies interpreted by a tight unity in timefeel and mutual alertness in improvisation. Javors satisfies an appetite for the musically punctuated with surprising twists and turns."
- Jazz Education Journal


"Javors' compositional imagination goes beyond the hard bop references of that first track. Among his other strengths, perhaps Javors' concern for the people he meets and his well-wishing for the world community at large characterizes his work. Even though he is tucked away in the northern Florida, his music has much to say, and the time spent in enjoying it is well worth the investment."

"Chris Potter"

"An improviser of extremely high caliber...a collective spirit of "going for it" that brings the music joyously to life."
- Chris Potter

"Conrad Herwig"

"This is 21st century music at its best -- fresh insight into where Jazz is going. Keith Javors' virtuosic piano playing combines subtlety and power, and he has surrounded himself with a group of musicians who will take you on an exciting voyage of discovery, towards the Jazz future."
- Conrad Herwig

"Bunky Green"

"There's a freshness here like Spring after an extremely severe winter. Keith Javors is a singular individual who has made the entire world his resource area and now speaks with his own individual voice. Keith is a creative force with an urgent message that cannot be denied."
- Bunky Green


"Isn't it enough that Florida's institutions of higher learning have dominated college football in recent years? Does the state also have to produce what is probably one of the best jazz ensembles in the country? Directed by Dr. Keith Javors, the UNF ensemble perhaps comes closest all-around to matching a professional big band for polish, power and dynamic shading...The kids play the heck out of it all."
- DownBeat

"Jazz Times (as educator)"

"Javors deserves a big pay raise for guiding and inspiring this 19-piece band to excellence. This band is simply a knockout."

- Jazz Times (as educator)


As a Leader/Producer:
On The Bright Side (2008)
Coming Together: A Tribute To B (2008)
The Free Project (2007)
And The Melody Still Lingers On (2005)
Bunky Green - Ballads (2004)
Mo' City Jungle (2004)
Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green (2003), UNF
Second Thoughts (2002)
Things To Come (2001)
From Here To The Street (2000)
Mantra (1998)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Philadelphia pianist/composer Keith Javors shares the rare distinction of personifying excellence not only as a creative artist but also as a renowned educator. "Free" (ArtistShare) is Keith's fourth recording as a leader and his most visceral and personal statement to date, drawing from jazz genres as well as R and B, rap, and world music influences. The result is the creation of a powerful and positive collage.

A consummate composer, "Free" is one of several CDs that include his original music. In 2004, he released "Mo’ City Jungle" on the Zoho label, an acoustic set that draws from Detroit influences ranging from Kenny Garrett to Motown and its soul derivatives. Regarding MCJ, says “Not since Kenny Garrett’s Standard of Language and Terence Blanchard’s Bounce has there been a post bop album this exciting. Mo’ City Jungle is not for the faint-at-heart; this is vital, energized music that is captivating from start to finish.”

Born in Carbondale, Illinois on October 15, 1971, Keith began picking out television themes by ear on his family’s defunct player piano as early as 3 and started lessons at 8. His affinity for jazz was sparked at 13 by two records: John Coltrane’s "My Favorite Things" and Dave Brubeck’s "Plays Cole Porter". Attending the University of North Texas on scholarship at 17, Keith gained his professional tutelage through gigging as an in-demand pianist in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and later the Chicago area, working as a regular member of groups such as the Dallas Jazz Orchestra and the Brad Turner Quartet.

Through impressive teaching stints at UNT, the University of Illinois, and, most notably, the University of North Florida and maintaining an active performance career throughout, he is no stranger to the pitfalls of learning and teaching jazz in school. He says, “The strength of school jazz programs is in great teachers, motivated students, and resources to facilitate. It’s probably inconsequential in most cases. The real learning takes place through playing with great and passionate musicians, whether they're at school or not.”

Now at 33, Keith has recorded or performed with an expansive list of artists including George Coleman, Bunky Green, Conrad Herwig, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Gerry Mulligan, Bucky Pizzerelli, Chris Potter, Arturo Sandoval, Terell Stafford, Ira Sullivan, Bill Watrous, and Steve Wilson. His groups have performed by invitation at some of the most prestigious venues in the world; the Rockefeller Center, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Vienne Jazz Festival, several International Association for Jazz Education Annual Conferences, and the Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference, in addition to notable metropolitan clubs throughout the United States.

As a producer and bandleader, Keith's work centers on imagination and dynamic sensitivity, consistently earning rave reviews. Bands he's directed have performed with a “who’s who” of jazz music, including Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Terence Blanchard, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Jon Faddis, Kenny Garrett, Antonio Hart, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, the Dave Holland Quintet, Pat Martino, Mulgrew Miller, James Moody, Eddie Palmieri, Sam Rivers, Maria Schneider, Ira Sullivan, and Clark Terry.

In the classroom, Keith is charismatic and gifted, bringing a hard-nosed passion and honesty to the music that has inspired countless students. The energetic and professional nature of his school ensembles are often acknowledged by major jazz journals as amongst the best. Keith was named to the highest percentile of those included on the “Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students” five times in a row. Keith’s four albums as leader of the UNF Jazz Ensemble 1 ("Things To Come", "Second Thoughts", "Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green", "And the Melody Still Lingers On") resulted in multiple consecutive national DownBeat Student Music Awards, including the sole winner of Best College Big Band in 2003: “The ensemble never misses a cue or misreads a note, enabling Keith Javors to score a bulls-eye on his second album as director...University-level ensembles simply don’t get much better than this.”

Keith earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Jazz Piano Performance (with distinction) from the University of North Texas, where he was pianist in the One O’Clock Lab Band, and a Doctorate degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His doctoral thesis, “An Appraisal of Collegiate Jazz Performance Programs in the Teaching of Jazz Music" is a vibrant and controversial critique of modern jazz education, and is available through University Microfilms International.

Presently, Keith is the newly appointed Artistic Director for the Brendan Romaneck Alliance for American Music, Inc. based out of Philadelphia. He is active as a performer and composer, teaching at several music schools and