The music of New York-based pianist–composer Jason Yeager is deeply expressive and multi-faceted. A recording artist on Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label, Yeager has released two albums of original music to wide acclaim—Ruminations (2011) and Affirmation (2014). Mentored by jazz pianists Danilo Pérez, Fred Hersch, Frank Carlberg, and Ran Blake, Yeager considers his evolving musical personality as a reflection of his love of jazz and improvisation, combined with elements of 20th–century classical music, the blues, Argentinian folk styles, drum’n’bass rhythms, and more. He is also active as a sideman in various groups in New York, Boston, and beyond, and has performed and recorded with such noteworthy artists as Greg Osby, Ran Blake, James Cammack, Mark Walker, Noah Preminger, Aaron Goldberg, John McNeil, Sara Serpa, Aubrey Johnson, Lauren Henderson, Julie Benko, and Linda Oh, among many others. Yeager has performed at such venues as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz at The Kitano, Cornelia Street Café, the Regattabar, and abroad in Argentina, South Africa, Israel, Panama, France, and Botswana. He is also the winner of the Hot House Jazz Magazine Fans Decision 2014 contest for best pianist and best organist.
In addition to performing with the Jason Yeager Trio and as a sideman, Yeager is interested in the intersections between the arts, education, and social change/social justice. Currently, he is composing a set of pieces for solo piano, inspired by compelling pieces of war journalism. A graduate of the Tufts University/New England Conservatory double degree program (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda), Jason is a member of the piano faculties at Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Varta Academy of Musical Arts in New York City.
My work as an educator, pianist, and composer, combined with my current residence in Harlem and the great history of jazz in this neighborhood, are why I believe my work aligns with the mission and vision of the Harlem Arts Festival. Jazz music, and many of my greatest influences and heroes, developed and altered the course of music history from Harlem’s storied venues, with Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and so many others making invaluable contributions to American culture from this neighborhood. As an educator, who has also been on service and performance trips locally and abroad, I am able and interested to give presentations and interactive clinics in Harlem schools, and believe that my expertise in piano, composition, jazz, classical, and pop music would be of particular interest to arts programs. My music, like Harlem, is multicultural, combining my experiences with and love of music from the African–American experience (jazz, blues, soul, R&B), Israeli folksong, Latin American music, and beyond.