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GERI ALLEN


BIO: Geri Allen is an internationally known composer and pianist. Since 1982, she has recorded, performed or collaborated with artists as diverse as Ravi Coltrane, Dianne Reeves, Liz Wright, and Simone, in a celebration of the life and music of Nina Simone, Donald Walden, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Bill Cosby, Mal Waldron, Sir Simon Rattle, Lee Konitz, Vernon Reid, Jackie Hillsman and Peter Bernard, JoAnne Akalaitis, Clark Terry, George Shirley, Carrie Mae Weems, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, Carmen Lundy, Lester Bowie's From the Root To The Source, Kevin Maynor, Meshell Ndegeocello, Howard University's Afro Blue, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Terri Lynn Carrington, Hal Wilner, Mino Cinelu, Dr. Billy Taylor, Joan Rivers, and Mary Wilson and the Supremes. Professor Allen has released a number of recordings under her own name. These include: The Nurturer, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Maroons, Homegrown, The Printmakers, Twenty One, The Gathering, The Life of a Song, and, most recently, the ambitious and critically acclaimed Timeless Portraits and Dreams. A newly released Timeline, Live presents Ms. Allen on piano, Kenny Davis on bass, Kassa Overall on drums, and tap percussionist Maurice Chestnut. This is a rhythmically innovative work and has just been released on Ms. Allen's own label. Geri Allen is a Motema artist, and the forthcoming Refractions: Flying Toward the Sound, a work for solo piano which she composed during the period of her Guggenheim Fellowship, will be released by Motema in the new year. Many honors have come Professor Allen's way. She was recently invited by Ms. Jessye Norman to participate in Honor, A Celebration Of the Legacy Of African Music, held at Carnegie Hall Spring, 2008. She has received the key to the city of Cambridge during Geri Allen Week at Harvard University, and the key to the city of Cleveland. Howard University has honored her with its Benny Golson Award, while Spelman College bestowed its African Classical Music Award on her in 2007. She was the first artist to receive the Lady Of Soul Award in Jazz, and was also the youngest person—and the first woman—to receive the Danish Jazzpar Prize. Professor Allen is a 2008-2009 Guggenheim Fellow for Musical Composition. She is a Detroit native and a graduate of Cass Technical High School, Detroit's magnet school for music. She is also a graduate of Howard University where she later served as Assistant Professor of Music. During that period, Howard honored her with both its Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Professor Awards. Professor Allen also holds a master's degree in ethnomusicology from The University of Pittsburgh, where she studied with Dr. Nathan Davis, Dr. Kwabena Nketia, John Blacking, and Dr. Bell Yung. Professor Allen came to The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance after teaching at The New England Conservatory of Music and The New School in New York City. In addition to her own performances and the recordings under her own name, Professor Allen has participated in a number of notable collaborations. These include playing on the Classic Ellington, and Americana CDs, Sir Simon Rattle, conductor; Miles: Cool and Collected, a CD anthology of Miles Davis' work from 1956 to 1984; tenure in the Ornette Coleman Quartet from 1991 to 1995, culminating in the celebrated Sound Museum CD; and The Mary Lou Williams Collective of which she is the musical Director. The Collective has issued Zodiac Suite: Revisited on Mary Records. Allen played the role of Mary Lou Williams in Robert Altman's film Kansas City, and she contributed the original musical score to the filmed documentary Beah: A Black Woman Speaks directed by Lisa Gay Hamilton, which won a Peabody Award. Most recently, Professor Allen has collaborated with Trio 3 whose members include Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, and Reggie Workman. A CD by these four musicians has just been released on Intakt Records. It is called At This Time. Professor Allen's work as a composer has been honored by SESAC. Her ability has won her commissions from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Music Theatre Group, American Music Theatre Festival, Stanford University, and, most recently, from The Walt Whitman Arts Center and Meet the Composer who commissioned For the Healing of the Nations, a Sacred Jazz Work, composed in tribute to the victims and survivors of the 9/11 tragedy. Currently Professor Allen has been commissioned to compose an Opera for Trilogy: An Opera Company. Geri Allen continues to concertize all over the world.

Latest Articles


50th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar Celebrates With A Virtual Celebration Of Dr. Nathan Dav Photo 50th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar Celebrates With A Virtual Celebration Of Dr. Nathan Davis & Geri Allen  ​  
by BWW News Desk - October 19, 2020

The 50th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert will be held November 2-7, 2020 represents the vision of Nicole Mitchell Gantt, who has been Director of Jazz Studies in the Dietrich School's Department of Music since July 2019. ...
GRAMMY-Nominated Pianist Christian Sands Announced As Monterey Jazz Festival's 2020 A Photo GRAMMY-Nominated Pianist Christian Sands Announced As Monterey Jazz Festival's 2020 Artist-in-Residence
by BWW News Desk - February 28, 2020

The Monterey Jazz Festival is proud to announce that GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist, composer and educator Christian Sands has been announced as the Artist-in-Residence for the 63rd Monterey Jazz Festival in 2020....
Franco Ambrosetti Leads All-Star Group on New Album Photo Franco Ambrosetti Leads All-Star Group on New Album
by TV News Desk - September 05, 2019

One of the most revered figures on the European jazz scene, Swiss trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti has maintained a strong affinity for the music since debuting as a leader in 1965 with A Jazz Portrait of Franco Ambrosetti. Now approaching his 78th birthday in December, Ambrosetti is still swinging after...
Maurissa Rose Announces Live Tribute to Phyllis Hyman Photo Maurissa Rose Announces Live Tribute to Phyllis Hyman
by TV News Desk - November 08, 2018

The beloved R&B songstress, MAURISSA ROSE, has announced her live musical tribute to the beautiful, late jazz singer, PHYLLIS HYMAN....
61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Tickets On Sale Now Photo 61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Tickets On Sale Now
by BWW News Desk - August 09, 2018

Three-day Arena and Grounds Ticket Packages for the 61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 21-23 are on sale now, and can be purchased online at montereyjazzfestival.org or by calling 888.248.6499....
 61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Package Tickets On Sale 5/1 Photo 61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Package Tickets On Sale 5/1
by BWW News Desk - April 26, 2018

Three-day Arena and Grounds Ticket Packages for the 61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 21-23 go on sale Tuesday, May 1. Tickets can be purchased online at montereyjazzfestival.org or by calling 888.248.6499....
PLAYING FOR CHANGE Launches New Monthly Video Series & Announces New Album LISTEN TO Photo PLAYING FOR CHANGE Launches New Monthly Video Series & Announces New Album LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
by BWW News Desk - February 01, 2018

PLAYING FOR CHANGE Launches New Monthly Video Series & Announces New Album LISTEN TO THE MUSIC...
Brooklyn Music School's 5th Annual Middle School Jazz Festival 3/3 Photo Brooklyn Music School's 5th Annual Middle School Jazz Festival 3/3
by BWW News Desk - December 18, 2017

Brooklyn Music School (BMS) presents the 5th Annual Middle School Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 12pm to 6:30pm, with a concert at 5:30pm. BMS is located at 126 Saint Felix Street, Brooklyn. Concert tickets are a $10 suggested donation. For more information, visit https://www.eventbri...