Berklee BeanTown Jazz FestivalAhmad Jamal
Celebrated pianist/composer Ahmad Jamal continues his performance schedule around the world, as he has for well over the last four decades. Noted for his outstanding technical command and identifiable sound as a piano stylist, Jamal impresses fellow musicians and record buyers alike with his innovative, minimalist approach. He was a child prodigy who began to play the piano at the age of 3; he began formal studies at 7. While still in high school, he completed the equivalent of college master classes under the noted African American concert singer and teacher Mary Cardwell Dawson and pianist James Miller. He joined the musicians union at the age of 14, and he began touring upon graduation, drawing critical acclaim for his solos. In 1951, he formed his own group, the Three Strings (later renamed the Ahmad Jamal Trio), and was signed by John Hammond to Columbia's Okeh Records. The trio's classic live album Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing: But Not for Me climbed to number three on the pop charts. In the wake of But Not for Me'ssuccess, Jamal opened his own club, the Alhambra. In the years since, he's recorded album after album with various labels, most recently Birdology, Dreyfus, and Telarc.
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