Ted Rosenthal
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Ted Rosenthal

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As a leader:

2002 ThreePlay - Playscape Recordings
1999 Gerry Mulligan All Star Tribute Band - Arkadia Jazz
1996 Rosenthology - Concord
1995 Ted Rosenthal at Maybeck - Concord
1993 Images of Monk - Jazz Alliance
1992 Calling You - CTI
1990 New Tunes New Traditions - Ken Music



Ted Rosenthal was born and raised in Great Neck, Long Island -- a suburb of New York City. At the age of six, Ted started piano lessons and promptly quit after a few months because he wanted to improvise while his teacher insisted that he read the notes on the page! After playing rock guitar and trumpet in the school band, Ted came back to the piano through a strange and fortuitous event...

Tony Aless, a studio musician and jazz pianist who recorded with Charlie Parker and Stan Getz, opened a teaching studio in Great Neck. Tony's son was cold calling through the phone book and while Ted and his parents were having dinner, the phone rang. Ted was offered a free piano lesson and (at his parents' insistence) he took one. As soon as Tony gave Ted a demonstration of jazz piano, Ted was hooked. Ted studied with Tony for two years from the ages of 12-14, and continued to study both jazz and classical piano through high school. He studied briefly with Jaki Byard and Lennie Tristano and attended workshops with Billy Taylor, Woody Shaw and others.

After high school, Ted attended Manhattan School of Music and received a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Piano Performance. After college he continued his piano studies with Phillip Kawin while playing jazz locally around New York whenever he could.

Ted entered the international spotlight by winning first prize in the second annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 1988. His career continued its rapid ascent while releasing 6 CDs as a leader. His most recent recording, ThreePlay, on Playscape Recordings is a trio outing featuring Dennis Irwin and Matt Wilson. ThreePlay explores Rosenthal originals and jazz standards with an invigorating and free spirited approach. Previously, Ted recorded Rosenthology, on Concord Jazz, with Michael Formanek and Billy Drummond. This trio CD also creatively combines standards, jazz classics and original compositions.

Ted received great accolades for his solo piano CD recorded on the prestigious Live at Maybeck Hall series. His critically acclaimed CD Images of Monk, enlists the robust sound of a sextet to accentuate his highly original arrangements of Monk compositions. Ted's CDs feature some of the top names in jazz, including Ron Carter, Billy Higgins, Tom Harrell, Dick Oatts, Brian Lynch, Mark Feldman and Marvin "Smitty" Smith.

Ted toured for three and a half years with the last Gerry Mulligan Quartet. He recorded three CDs with Mulligan and performed in major jazz festivals throughout the world. After Mulligan's death, Ted became musical director of The Gerry Mulligan All Star Tribute Band, featuring Lee Konitz, Bob Brookmeyer and Randy Brecker. The group recorded the Grammy nominated CD, Thank You Gerry, on Arkadia Jazz.

As a busy sideman, Ted was a member of the Art Farmer Quintet. Additionally he has performed with the Jon Faddis, Benny Golson and James Moody Quartets, and with the Phil Woods and Joe Chambers Quintets. As an active New York freelancer, he has also performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Rosenthal is also the pianist of choice for many top jazz vocalists including Helen Merrill, Mark Murphy and Ann Hampton-Callaway. Ted has appeared on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on National Public Radio and performed with David Sanborn on NBC's Night Music.

A recipient of three performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ted regularly performs and records his compositions, which include jazz tunes and large-scale works. "The Survivor," his concerto for piano and orchestra, was premiered by the Rockland Symphony Orchestra with Ted at the piano. The piece combines written and improvised sections for the piano soloist, reflecting Ted's interest in improvisation within jazz and classical styles. Ted also performs Gershwin's works for piano and orchestra with improvisations adding an extra dimension of vitality and spontaneity to the music.

Other classical/jazz crossover performances include solo and featured appearances with The Boston Pops, The Greater Palm Beach Symphony, The Tulsa Philharmonic and The North Carolina Symphony. Ted has also performed in chamber and new music concerts at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.

A faculty member of Manhattan School of Music and The New School University, Ted is also active in the educational arena. He teaches a variety of jazz courses and presents clinics throughout the country. Ted is a contributing editor for Piano and Keyboard magazine and has published piano arrangements and feature articles for Piano Today, andThe Piano Stylist.


© Ted Rosenthal 1999 - 2001: site updated: September, 2001 by Tami Swartz