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Claire Ritter

American jazz master, composer/pianist/educator Claire Ritter, is a multiple award recipient, and "among the most successful Thirdsteam synthesis of jazz & classical musics" author Ed Hazel/Wikipedia Encyclopedia. In 2014 Ritter was the recipient of an artist grant awarded by the NC Arts & Science Council, her fourth, as well as a previous NC Arts Council Composer Fellowship recipient. AllAboutJazz describes Ritter as "an under sung Master, with each engaging melody buffed up like a little jewel". JazzTimes notes the music as "painterly exquisite & poetic". Beginning with the great Mary Lou Williams at Duke University in the 1970s, Ritter has studied, worked, performed, and recorded with the best, which includes over a decade and half of work with MacArthur Grant 'Genius' Fellow, Ran Blake at New England Conservatory in Boston, where she taught her Contemporary Songwriting in the Contemporary Improvisation Department during the 1990s. The economic song-like quality & harmonic sophistication of her tunes are hallmarks of Ritter's style, described by Owen Cordle/JazzTimes, News & Observer, as "direct, succinct & skillful - like the NC born pianist/composer, Thelonious Monk's style.

Claire Ritter is the author of over 200 compositions, most of which have been published and recorded; and performed in festivals, concert halls, and museums in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Her work has been the subject of numerous publications & radio interviews on WGBH Boston, WHRB Harvard University, WBUR Boston, & WFAE Charlotte, and has been recorded on European labels Soul Note , HatArt, and the independent label, Zoning Recordings, founded in Boston in honor of a major work by Mary Lou Williams. Ritter's compositions have been recorded by internationally acclaimed jazz artists including Steve Swallow, Dave Holland, Ran Blake, Dominique Eade, Stan Strickland, Ricky Ford, Jon Metzger, and Franz Koglmann, as well as performed in concert halls including Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Festival/NEC, American Women Composers, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Brandeis University, New England Conservatory Jazz-Thirdstream Festival, Josef Matthias Haur Konservatorium, Osterreichischen Museum in Europe, Multicultural Arts Center in Boston, Queens University, 2014 Charlotte New Music Festival, and CPCC 21st Century New Music Series and Tate Hall Music Series 2014 to name a few.

Ritter's discography includes 11 CDs/ 1 DVD recording on Zoning Recording. Visit www.claireritter.com or www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Ritter.


Southern Arts Federation Artist Profile Recording 1993 North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship 1999 Charlotte Arts & Science Council Artist Grants 2000 Charlotte Arts & Science Council Cultural Grant/Artistic Direct- ComposersCharlotte 2000 Charlotte Arts & Science Council Artist Grant 2006 Charlotte Arts & Science Council Artist Grant 2014


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"Every new idea coming at you quickly, every tight, engaging melody buffed up like a little jewel" - Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz.

"Applying splashes of color, dabs of contrast and subtly adjusting tempo and dynamics to create masterful soundscapes" - Nancy Ann Lee, JazzTimes.

"direct, succinct, & skillful - like the NC born pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's style" - Owen Cordle, writer for JazzTimes/ Raleigh News & Observer

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Visit www.claireritter.com Click on "teaching"

Clinic/Workshop Information

Claire Ritter Studio Teaching Classical, Jazz, Songwriting, Improvisation All levels, specializing in new music performance


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Eclipse Orange

Zoning Recordings


Soho Solo

Zoning Records


The Streams Of Pearls...

Zoning Records


Waltzing The Splendor

Zoning Records


Greener Than Blue

Zoning Records


Castles in the Air

Zoning Recordings


Eclipse Orange

From: Eclipse Orange
By Claire Ritter


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