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David Meder

Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano


New, Jazz Studies, Piano

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Pianist, composer, and educator Dave Meder is quickly becoming one of the prominent musical voices of his generation, with fluid technique, novel rhythmic conception, an intuitive sense of musical drama, and a breadth of stylistic influences. His works and interests are varied, encompassing big band music, contrapuntal explorations of Thelonious Monk repertoire, Bach-influenced organ preludes, film music, rearrangements of traditional folk hymns, the fusion of jazz with American minimalism, and everything in between. The result, as Dave describes, is “an attempt to synthesize a new American music that is not genre-dependent…one that bridges traditional audience divides and acts as a metaphor for what we hope to achieve in our current society.”

A classically trained pianist, Dave is the winner of the 2013 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition (formerly known as the Great American Jazz Piano Competition) and was recently named a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Cole Porter Fellowship of the American Pianists Association. As a composer, Dave has received commissions and recognition from the New York Youth Symphony (2018 FirstMusic Commission) and the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards, and he was recently accepted into the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. His artistry has led him abroad, affording him performances at the Torino Jazz Festival, the Tokyo Jazz Festival, Sao Paulo’s Auditório Ibirapuera, and throughout Honduras in a tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. In 2011, Dave was selected to perform at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. as part of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency program. He was subsequently invited by the late Dr. David Baker to participate in the Steans Institute, which culminated in a performance at the Ravinia Music Festival.

Currently based in New York City, Dave maintains an active performance schedule as a leader and sideman. A notable recent engagement, a weeklong stint at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, was devoted to exploring and reimagining the rarely-performed works of late pianist Jaki Byard. Dave’s debut album, "Passage," a combination of originals and the works of Byard, is anticipated to be released in Fall 2018.

Meder holds the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, where he studied jazz piano with Kenny Barron and classical piano with Julian Martin. Additionally, he has studied improvisation with Ari Hoenig, Mark Turner, and Jean-Michel Pilc, as well as composition, harmony and counterpoint with Philip Lasser in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger. He earned his M.M. from New York University, as well as undergraduate degrees in music, political science, and Spanish from Florida State University.

An educator in his own right, Meder earned the Morse Teaching Artist Fellowship at The Juilliard School, through which he has developed and taught regular classroom lessons on jazz literacy to local middle school students. He has also worked as an adjunct instructor of jazz piano at New York University, where he developed a curriculum for undergraduate jazz keyboard harmony classes. In addition, Meder has presented lectures on his creative research at the 2016 Jazz Educators Network Conference and at the West Virginia University Keyboard Festival. He is currently a faculty member in the Evening Division at The Juilliard School and the music director for Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bronx, NY.