MacPhail Presents: Austin Piano Festival
featuring Geoffrey Keezer, Grammy-Award winning pianist
MacPhail Center for Music-Austin hosts the second annual Austin Piano Festival.
The piano festival is an opportunity to honor Austin’s Fazioli 308 concert grand piano while also celebrating the piano as an instrument and the power of music. “We have this beautiful piano here in Austin,” says Austin site director Cheryl Berglund. “But more importantly, it will gather piano students in the community and larger — it’s open to Minnesota — just to celebrate the piano. This is just a key learning experience.”
Geoffrey Keezer is a GRAMMY®-winning pianist, composer, arranger, and producer based in New York City. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, he began playing piano and composing early. After briefly attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Keezer moved to New York in 1989, becoming the last pianist with the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Keezer has toured and recorded with Ray Brown, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Diana Krall, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Barbara Hendricks, Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Sting, Joe Locke, and Christian McBride; produced and arranged three GRAMMY®-nominated recordings with vocalist Denise Donatelli, and released a series of albums drawing influences from Hawaiian, Okinawan and Afro-Peruvian folk traditions. His 2009 album Áurea (ArtistShare) was nominated for a Best Latin Jazz Album GRAMMY® award. Geoffrey’s 2013 solo piano release, Heart of the Piano (Motema Records), seeks to redefine solo jazz piano as a personal and interactive showcase of melody, energy and groove, while his 2018 album On My Way to You (MarKeez Records) is a stunning set of music featuring his working trio with the addition of guest vocalist Gillian Margot. Keezer’s latest album Playdate (MarKeez Records) earned a 2023 GRAMMY® in the Best Instrumental Composition category for his song “Refuge”.
Geoffrey’s compositions have been commissioned by the Mainly Mozart Festival, Art of Elán ensemble, Saint Joseph Ballet, Zeltsman Marimba Festival, Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, and Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. His music can be heard in the films What Happens in Vegas, The Wedding Year, and Inhale, and in numerous TV shows, including The Young and the Restless, Parks and Recreation, Casual, House of Lies, Call Me Kat, American Crime Story, Clarice, and The Originals.
Geoffrey Keezer is a faculty member of The Juilliard School and is a Yamaha artist.
Photo by John Abbot.