Pianist, composer, and educator Dave Meder is 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 artistic 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.”
Dave is the winner of the 2013 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition (formerly known as the Great American Jazz Piano Competition) and a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Cole Porter Fellowship of the American Pianists Association. As a composer, Dave is a recipient of the FirstMusic commission from the New York Youth Symphony and an honoree in the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards, as well as a former participant in the storied 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. Dave continues to maintain an active performance schedule as a leader and sideman, having played several weeklong engagements with his trio at Jazz at Lincoln Center, solo piano residencies at Jazz at the Kitano (NYC), and a host of other performances nationwide. His current projects include “Celebrating Jaki Byard,” a program that re-imagines the eclectic, underperformed works of the late pianist, as well as a debut album, “Passage,” to be released in early 2019.
Dave 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. In his formative years, Dave also had the privilege of studying with masters George Cables, Nathan Davis, Curtis Fuller, and David Baker at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program and the Ravinia Music Festival’s Steans Institute.
An educator in his own right, Dave earned the Morse Teaching Artist Fellowship while at The Juilliard School, through which he developed and taught regular classroom lessons on jazz history to local middle school students. He has served as an adjunct instructor at NYU, and he later designed and taught the first-ever jazz piano course sequence for the Juilliard Evening Division. Dave has presented lectures on his creative research at the Jazz Educators Network Conference and at the West Virginia University Keyboard Festival. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at the University of North Texas.