Jeff Baumeister is a pianist and composer born in Philadelphia whose music derives as much from modern classical music as it does post-bop and free jazz. He has performed regularly since the early 1980s throughout the Philadelphia area as a solo pianist and with various ensembles.
Jeff's debut CD as a leader Useful Music rapidly garnered universal critical acclaim, acknowledged by The Philadelphia Inquirer as, "a refined study of high-end improvisation, full of quiet but fiery interplay, cerebral and engaging," by All About Jazz as, "a completely modern take on an established aesthetic, Useful Music has all the potential to be a classic," and by David Demsey, from William Paterson University as, "improvised music with the lyricism of the best-composed music of the last century."
John Kelman, Senior Editor from All About Jazz continues, "Useful Music establishes a new player and writer-- who, if there's any justice, will attract the attention of those who know the reach of modern jazz extends well beyond the narrow confines of more traditional convention."
Jeff earned degrees in Jazz Piano Performance from William Paterson University (B.M.) and the University of the Arts (M.M.). Aside from college, he studied classical piano with Sam Bellardo, and jazz improvisation with Uri Caine, Tom Lawton, Al Stauffer, and Jim McNeely. He also studied composing and arranging with McNeely and Manny Albam at the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop in NYC.
Jeff teaches music theory, history and jazz studies at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pa. As a regular contributor to DownBeat magazine, many of his jazz transcription and analysis essays have been published. These include solos by Dave Douglas, Uri Caine, John Zorn, Tomasz Stanko, Dave Hollands, Herbie Hancock, and Bill Evans.
Most recently, Jeff has been commissioned to compose a jazz suite for ten musicians commemorating Bucks County Community College's 50th anniversary. The piece is called "Portraits from the Pub" and will premiere in spring 2014.
Awards & Recognitions
- Eubie Blake Scholarship - William Paterson University, 1992 - 1995
- Bernard Peiffer Jazz Piano Award for Excellence, Creativity, and Dedication to Jazz Piano - University of the Arts, 2003
- Useful Music – Jeff Baumeister Quartet, Editor's Choice, Best of 2005 - New Discoveries by John Kelman, All About Jazz
- Useful Music – Publisher's Top Picks for 2005 - Honorable Mention by Michael Ricci, publisher, All About Jazz
- Useful Music – Top Ten Best Albums Of 2005 - Nick Lea, publisher, Jazz Views, UK