Jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than two decades. Bruce has performed on over one hundred recordings and movie soundtracks, including ten as a leader. He is equally at home playing solo piano (American Landscape on Satchmo Jazz Records), leading an all-star septet (East and West on MaxJazz), and composing for a variety of ensembles. His trio has recorded live at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City, and he recently released a new DVD, Live at Café del Teatre, on Quadrant, recorded live at the Lleida Jazz Festival in Catalunia.
Bruce arrived on the New York jazz scene in 1988, and soon joined the great tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine; their musical collaboration spanned a decade. In 1990, Bruce joined the Terence Blanchard Quintet and recorded six CDs, as well as several movie soundtracks. In 1992, Bruce played piano on-screen in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X . While in Terence Blanchard’s band, Bruce recorded his first two CD’s as a leader, In Focus and Morning Call for the Enja label.
Bruce has had extended collaborations with Tony Bennett, Steve Wilson, Terell Stafford, Luciana Souza, and Karrin Allyson and David Sanchez. And he has performed with James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Art Farmer, Victor Lewis, John Patitucci, Lewis Nash, and the Mingus Big Band.
In 2001, Bruce released East and West, which Stereophile called “one of the best jazz albums in recent memory.” It featured an all-star septet playing Bruce’s compositions based on his childhood memories of the western United States, with its deserts, ranches and ghost towns. Bruce continues to compose extensively for that septet, which has appeared at major jazz clubs in Manhattan including The Jazz Standard and Smoke, as well as at many European jazz festivals.
In recent years, Bruce has made three solo piano tours of Japan, and has also performed with his trio throughout the United States and Europe. All About Jazz has described the trio, as heard on the Live at Café del Teatre DVD (featuring Doug Weiss on bass and Montez Coleman on drums) as “marked by keen empathy, sensitivity, and power.”
Bruce served two years on the panel for the U.S. State Department “Jazz Ambassadors” program, choosing jazz bands to represent the United States overseas. He is also a Grammy nominated producer, with more than twenty CDs to his credit.
He has also taught at Berklee College of Music, Long Island University.
Bruce has participated in many workshops, clinics, and seminars in the U. S. and abroad; he also maintains a private teaching studio, with students from the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan.