Bruce Barth is widely considered to be one of finest jazz pianists and composers of his generation. New York's The Village Voice calls him "one of the best pianists in town, period." His is a modern and original voice, with great expressive depth and compelling rhythm. His music is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, and encompasses the wide scope of his life and musical experiences, from recollections of the old West to forays into the blues and Latin music.
Originally from Pasadena, California, Mr. Barth started piano lessons at the age of five, with a natural tendency to play by ear. He studied piano, theory, and musicianship for more than ten years with Anthony and Sue LaMagra. He later studied privately with Norman Simmons and at New England Conservatory with Jaki Byard, George Russell, and Fred Hersch. While in Boston he recorded "The African Game" and "So What," with George Russell's Living Time Orchestra (Blue Note Records).
In 1988, Mr. Barth toured Japan with Nat Adderley, and after a brief stint with Stanley Turrentine, he joined Terence Blanchard's quintet in 1990. During the next four years, he toured extensively with Blanchard and recorded six CDs, including In Focus and Morning Call (Enja Records). Both were chosen for The New York Times's top ten lists in their respective years. He has continued to release a stream of critically acclaimed recordings in solo, trio, quintet, and septet groupings, the latter featured on his 2001 release East and West (MAXJAZZ Records), with an all-star group playing Mr. Barth's compositions based on memories of his childhood experiences in the Western United States—deserts, ranches, and ghost towns. Some of Mr. Barth's trio engagements include the Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, and Smoke in New York; The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; and several major European festivals including the San Sebastian Festival de Jazz, the Stockholm Jazz Festival, and the Barcelona International Jazz Festival. He has played two extensive solo piano tours of Japan. The Bruce Barth Septet, originally featured on East and West, has played the Jazz Standard and toured Europe, with festival appearances in Terrassa, Spain and Braga, Portugal.
Mr. Barth recorded the DVD Live in Spain (Quadrant Records), at the Lleida Jazz Festival with bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Montez Coleman. Mr. Barth has performed and/or recorded with such jazz luminaries as James Moody, Slide Hampton, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Nancy Wilson, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Tom Harrell, Grady Tate, John Patitucci, Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Joshua Redman, David Sanchez, and the Mingus Big Band. In addition to his own bands, Mr. Barth has worked with the Steve Wilson Quartet, Terell Stafford Quintet, and groups led by Karrin Allyson and Luciana Souza.
Bruce Barth is also a Grammy-nominated producer, and has more than twenty albums to his credit. He has produced recordings by Rene Marie, Carla Cook, Terell Stafford, and Laurent Coq, among others, and has contributed his composing and arranging talents to several projects.
Mr. Barth has served on the faculties of Temple University in Philadelphia, Berklee College of Music, and Queens College, and has taught professional pianists from several countries. He has participated in several seminars, master classes, and summer programs in the United States, Europe, and Japan.