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Adam Berenson

Classically-influenced jazz pianist/composer Adam Berenson has been described by author and Juilliard professor David Dubal as:

"what is needed in our over specialized society— a true polyartist— Pianist, Playwright, Composer, Teacher, Humanist, and a man to get to know because in his smooth, respectful style, Mr. Berenson has a lot to show and tell us about art, behavior, and the ability to survive with humor in a harsh and rough time where we have decided art is not of utmost importance."

Mr. Berenson's music reflects a wide range of influences, including Keith Jarrett, Eric Satie, Anton Webern, Ornette Coleman, Helmut Lachenmann, Gary Burton and Gyorgy Ligeti. Accessible and challenging, tonal and non-tonal, Mr. Berenson's music ranges from minimal cool expressionism to an unbridled romanticism.

Beyond his activities as a performer/composer, Mr. Berenson's interests run to journalism. He was formerly the Philadelphia correspondent for the internationally published Pulse! Magazine and was a contributor to the Philadelphia Weekly newspaper.

Adam Berenson has completed a Master's degree in Jazz Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he worked with pianist Paul Bley, bassist Cecil McBee, and composers Lee Hyla, Robert Ceely, and John Heiss among others. Earlier studies included a scholarship for classical piano at Syracuse University as well as a BFA in film production from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.


Album Review

Adam Berenson: Dwelling on Magic Mountain

Read "Dwelling on Magic Mountain" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist and keyboardist Adam Berenson excels in various music genres including jazz, classical and electronica. His solo box-set Every Beginning is a Sequel (Dream Play, 2020) found the exploratory composer employing an arsenal of keyboards and high-end synthesizers in his original compositions. Berenson returns to that general cache of instruments for Dwelling on Magic Mountain, another solo outing. The six lengthy tracks cover a lot of stylistic ground. Dark and portentous, “Cryptomnesia" opens the set in a place ...

Album Review

Adam Berenson: Songs from the Garret

Read "Songs from the Garret" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Adam Berenson's Songs from the Garret is a two-CD solo collection but the essence of other composers prowl in the shadows. The lofty album title pays tribute to particular compositions from Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Michael Gibbs, Chick Corea and a host of others. Berenson, a well-versed composer/keyboardist, takes the unusual approach (for him) of focusing entirely on covers. The pieces on Songs from the Garret are broadly described by Berenson as “Boston standards." While most of these compositions are ...

Album Review

Adam Berenson: Homages and Worlds

Read "Homages and Worlds" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Adam Berenson's Assemblages (Dream Play Records, 2021), a trio outing with bassist Scott Barnum and drummer Bob Moses, was the pianist/composer's return to an acoustic piano trio setting. But Berenson is a restless pioneer who plants a flag and moves on to new territory. Never far from his collection of electronics and synthesizers, he found a commanding tool for expression in his Sequential Prophet XL, a powerful seventy-six key sampler/synthesizer. On Homages and Worlds, Berenson pays tribute to a wide ...

Album Review

Adam Berenson, Scott Barnum & Bob Moses: Assemblages

Read "Assemblages" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Keyboardist and composer Adam Berenson has at his disposal an arsenal of instruments, electronics, synthesizers, etc. But to hear him in the traditional acoustic piano trio setting is immensely enjoyable, while hardly “traditional." On the double-disc Assemblages, Berenson puts aside his Korg Triton Extreme, Yamaha Symphonic Ensemble and other impressively named and plugged-in instruments in favour of the piano and colleagues Scott Barnum on double-bass and Bob Moses on percussion. The trio previously released three albums on the Dream Play ...

Album Review

Adam Berenson: Every Beginning Is A Sequel

Read "Every Beginning Is A Sequel" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist/keyboardist/composer Adam Berenson--across more than twenty recordings--offers incontrovertible evidence that talent surpasses an affinity for category. He is equally at home with jazz, electronica, blues, or a string quartet. On his previous , fully-acoustic album, Stringent and Sempiternal (Dream Works, 2019) Berenson went in an unusual direction (for him), covering works of Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, and Pat Metheny. His new solo box set Every Beginning Is A Sequel is an ambitious collection of electronic music ...

Album Review

Adam Berenson / Scott Barnum: Stringent and Sempiternal

Read "Stringent and Sempiternal" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist and composer Adam Berenson and bassist Scott Barnum have been working as a duo for more than a decade. Two years ago, on Introverted Cultures (Dream Play Records, 2017), they were joined by guitarist Eric Hofbauer on a double-CD set of improvised pieces. Back as a duo formation on Stringent and Sempiternal, the pair offer music starkly dissimilar from the preceding album. Given the exploratory nature of Berenson's catalog, standards and covers are not expected, but there doesn't seem ...

Under the Radar

Experimentalists: Talking with Adam Berenson, Dana Jessen, and Abdul Moimême

Read "Experimentalists: Talking with Adam Berenson, Dana Jessen, and Abdul Moimême" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The newly opened Théatre des Champs-Elysées was sold out on the night of May 29, 1913. The well-heeled Parisian audience had come to enjoy the much-anticipated premiere of Igor Stravinsky's “Rite of Spring" which featured the choreography of the acclaimed Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Some accounts of what transpired that night appear to be exaggerated. There were no riots in the street outside the theater, as had been reported, but there was considerable violence in the theater as fans ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Dwelling on Magic...

Dream Play Records


Songs from the Garret

Dream Play Records


Homages and Worlds

Dream Play Records



Dream Play Records


Every Beginning Is A...

Dream Play Records


Stringent and...

Dream Play Records




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