Bio: Bradley Sowash is a creative pianist, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, author/educator and composer/arranger. As a musician, he has performed in every imaginable setting from living rooms, churches and jazz clubs to major concert venues both here and abroad for over thirty years. His broadcast credits include seven seasons of appearances on the PBS-TV series, The Piano Guy, and National Public Radio has aired selections from his nine CDs. As an educator specializing in improvisation, he teaches master classes nationwide and the Neil A. Kjos Music Company publishes his instructional books. An active composer, Augsburg Fortress Press has published several volumes of his hymn arrangements and he writes and self-publishes works for ballet, big band, choir, film, orchestra, solo piano and string quartet.
Artist Statement: When most people hear my music, they recognize it right off as being neo-classical, blues/funk/jazz with country, gospel and Americana influences. I’m kidding (sort of) but my background as a working jazz musician does involve a lot of cross-fertilization with my compositional style. For me, the most compelling aspect of American vernacular music (jazz, pop, bluegrass, gospel) is its rhythmic drive. Classical music, however, trumps these styles for its depth of feeling and complexity. My music integrates the hot licks, vamps, blues patterns and grooves of American music with classical techniques for highly rhythmic, surprising and yet, familiar music with a wide emotional range - the best of both worlds!
Educator: A well-regarded jazz educator, Sowash is the author of That’s Jazz, a nine volume jazz piano method published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company. He frequently offers teacher training workshops for piano teachers in conjunction with that series. He is the director of “The Jazz Workshop,” a division of Columbus, Ohio’s Chamber Music Connection, in which student jazz combos receive weekly coaching by professional jazz musicians. He also teaches at the Jazz Academy administered by Jazz Arts Group. He maintain a private studio with students ranging from 9 to 70. Past educational positions include the Ohio State University Department of Dance and New York City’s High School of the Performing Arts, which is featured in the move “Fame.”
I welcome every chance to revitalize interest in the classic mediums of string quartets, orchestras and choirs with new, accessible music.