Eric Olsen, pianist
Eric Olsen is “an expert in the art of musical transfiguration” (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz.com), and has “created his own form of classic jazz” (Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz). His career is marked by his unique ability to re-imagine familiar melodies so that they are “truly born anew” (Bilawsky).
Eric’s latest album Sea Changes (Blujazz Label), features the Eric Olsen ReVision Quartet, including veteran jazz musicians Don Braden on saxophones, Ratzo Harris on bass, and Tim Horner on drums. Jazz Times magazine rated Sea Changes “Best Jazz Arrangements of 2015”, calling it “a stunning rainbow bridge between the worlds of Classical and Jazz” (Travis Rogers). Eric’s album Dyad Plays Puccini (Ringwood Label) earned a place as one of the top 50 Jazz CD’s of 2013 from Jazz Times magazine, and was praised as “perhaps the most amazing transformation of cultural enlightenment in the last quarter century” (Brent Black, CriticalJazz.com).
Eric has also collaborated with opera singer Kevin Maynor on the Grammy nominated Black Art Song in 2000, and has collaborated with a host of notable classical and jazz musicians, and his discography includes classical recordings as a soloist, choral music conductor, and a CD for meditation. Eric Olsen has performed at jazz festivals, with symphony orchestras, and overseas in France, Germany, India, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Fiji. He has composed works for classical and jazz ensembles from chamber groups to full orchestra. As Music Director and Organist at Union Congregational Church in Montclair, he has conducted many staples of the classical choral literature, and leads a jazz ensemble in his own unique arrangements of hymns and original works for jazz services. He is an Adjunct Faculty member at Montclair State University and Caldwell University, and a member of the Piano Faculty at the Wharton Music Center in Berkeley Heights, NJ. Mr. Olsen holds two Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Jazz Studies from Indiana University, and a Bachelor’s with High Distinction in Piano and Organ Performance from Syracuse University.