Laszlo Gardony

Laszlo Gardony

Musicians | Instrument: Piano | Location: Boston

The trio of pianist Laszlo Gardony, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Yoron Israel is among the most seasoned, soulful, sensitive, and swinging groups around.

—Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe

Updated: June 20, 2023

Internationally acclaimed Boston-based jazz pianist and composer Laszlo Gardony is one of the most expressive and technically skilled pianists working in jazz today. “A formidable improviser who lives in the moment" (JazzTimes), Gardony has performed in 27 countries and released 14 albums: ten albums on the Sunnyside label, two on Antilles, and one on Avenue Jazz during his distinguished, decades-long career. Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Gardony has been noted for his "fluid pianism" by The New York Times. The legendary Dave Brubeck called him "a great pianist."

His 14th album as a leader, “Close Connection” was released in December, 2022 on Sunnyside Records. The album features his trio of 20 years: Yoron Israel (drums) and John Lockwood (bass.)

Laszlo’s performances convey the joy of inspired creation, audience connection, and moving spontaneous improvisations. Gardony's concerts are one-of-a-kind performances drawing from deep feeling, prodigious technique, and a playful curiosity that thrives on interpreting each unique moment. His critically acclaimed 2019 live solo piano album, “La Marseillaise” features his compositions, his arrangements of standards, a classic Italian song, a re-imagination of an iconic French revolutionary song and spontaneously created pieces. New York City Jazz Record says of the album: “‘La Marseillaise’ is a grand organic take on creating music in the moment.” JazzTimes states: “The improvised pieces are bright and majestic examples of on-the-fly creativity at its most developed.”

His previous solo album Serious Play (Sunnyside) was named one of the Best Jazz Albums of 2017 by DownBeat Magazine: "Serious Play combines spontaneity and intent. Improvised in the studio, it's a harmonious, emotionally intense whole that sounds like a concert rather than an arbitrary collection of tunes. No matter how busy Gardony becomes, there's a stillness at the center of his music, a distinctive amalgam of central European folk strains, majestic classical piano and improvisational fearlessness." Both Serious Play and Gardony's 2015 live sextet album Life In Real Time were named by the Boston Globe as one of the "10 Best Jazz Releases of the Year."

Gardony has performed and/or recorded with artists including Dave Holland, Miroslav Vitous, Bob Moses, Mick Goodrick, Yoron Israel, John Lockwood, Jamey Haddad, Bill Pierce, Don Braden, and Stan Strickland. In addition to his own recordings on Sunnyside, Antilles and Avenue, his compositions, arrangements and playing have been featured on jazz releases from Blue Note, Accurate, Rounder, and Ronja Music. Besides being an exceptionally successful band leader, Laszlo is also a sought-after sideman. Other artists who featured him on their recordings include drummer Yoron Israel, flutist, Christian Artmann, guitarist Garrison Fewell,  Matt Glaser's Wayfaring Strangers, and singer Shelley Neill.

Read more


All About Jazz Articles

Album Review
Read more articles

"Great pianist."
—Dave Brubeck

"...jazz is a very universal music and Laszlo is a great musician, and the truth is that this music goes beyond any kind of boundaries, cultures, or nationalities and good musicians meet on a common ground. We played together very well the first time and I always enjoy playing with Laszlo because he is a great musician and that's all you need."
—Dave Liebman

"From the first time I heard Laszlo I've been very impressed by his playing...He's one of the best musicians that we've ever had here at Berklee."
—Gary Burton

"The trio of pianist Laszlo Gardony, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Yoron Israel is among the most seasoned, soulful, sensitive, and swinging groups around."
—Kevin Lowenthal, BOSTON GLOBE

"His genius is in making complex ideas simple — another kind of liberation "

"Now in 'marrying odd meters/changing time signatures with the sound and the groove of gospel, funk, jazz and rock,' [Gardony] has made a jazz piano trio disc that part of you - guaranteed - is going to want to dance to. It might not be the ordinary danceworthy parts but that's how joyous and primordially infectious this disc is. Who'd ever have thought that Laszlo Gardony would turn out to be the ultra-hip 21st century Ramsey Lewis?"

“Gardony’s muse is unpretentious yet artistic by design … Sure enough, it’s an all-encompassing musical statement that beckons repeated listens. Don’t let this gem pass you by…”
—Glenn Astarita, EJAZZNEWS.COM

“No one has a better feeling for mixing strong grooves and melodic lyricism than pianist Laszlo Gardony.”

“A piano man for these times, he marries the future with tradition and sprinkles his own flavor on the proceedings for a killer set that’s sure to impress. This is the place to stop for genre fans looking for something new to blow their ears wide open.”

“The trio is always on the same page emotionally, mentally and physically through the musical paragraphs … Gardony incorporates music from different cultures in his compositions and the result is a splendid melting pot that displays harmonious expressions with gentle sonic compressors.”
— Susan Frances, JAZZREVIEW.COM

"Armed with a piano style that encompasses Bill Evans''s elegance, Herbie Hancock's drive and Keith Jarrett's passion, Gardony's music, like the title track he composed, creates a meditative state conducive to the attainment of man's most enduring and timeless aspirations."

Recommended by Village Voice Jazz Consumer Guide: A (Highest Rating)
—Francis Davis, VILLAGE VOICE

“A consistently inventive player who combines an ear for melody with a strong rhythmic sense that grabs the attention of even those who normally resistant to jazz.”

“(Gardony) strikes a nice balance between being genuinely expressive and readily accessible on Breakout. **** (four stars)”
—Bill Milkowski, DOWN BEAT

“Buoyant good fun...An aggressive improviser ready and willing to take chances.”
—Bob Young, JAZZIZ

“The vision in his versions indicates how far he has come in mastering jazz’s major challenge, the transformation of the tradition through personal expression.”
—Bob Blumenthal, BOSTON GLOBE

"Gardony serves notice that he has arrived – not only as an original voice who has fully integrated his disparate influences, but as a player who spans the conservatory and the gutbucket without a hint of strain".
—Kevin Convey, BOSTON HERALD

“A new champion...His keyboard touch is impeccable as displayed in this compelling set of original compositions. RECOMMENDED (The Secret)”
—Jeff Levenson, BILLBOARD

“A sparkling jazz trio date...he blends the diatonic lyricism of Keith Jarrett with the modal and polyrhythmic vitality of his native land.”

“Immensely gifted Hungarian-born pianist...a classicist with a darkly romantic streak...this music somehow insinuates itself into the listener’s psyche.”
—Gene Kalbacher, HOT HOUSE

“Combining in fresh, sweepingly powerful and gorgeously lyrical ways unlike any other current jazz pianist...Gardony is treasured...for his percussive density, tireless inventiveness and consistent excitement.”

“Bill Evans to the next level.”
—David Prince, THE NEW MEXICAN

"A superior jazz improviser who infuses his post-bop music with references to his Hungarian folk roots"

“Gardony is not afraid to expand the vocabulary of his instrument...sure this is the blues, but it rarely feels this fine.”
—Richard B. Kamins, CADENCE

“His reach runs from Ellington through Monk and Coltrane, and his spins on the material are fascinating - including his hilariously dissonant, Beethovenesque reading of ‘Good King Wenceslas.”

Read more

Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Advanced only


A highly respected piano professor at Berklee College of Music - who also teaches at Harvard University’s Jazz Combo Initiative, - Laszlo Gardony is a master educator. He leads his clinics with skill, conviction, vision, and sensitivity. Students come away inspired, creatively charged and with a deeper understanding of their music. In 2016 Gardony gave a master class at the International Association of Schools of Jazz Conference (IASJ). In 2016 and 2015 he conducted clinics in the Dominican Republic with Marco Pignataro, Managing Director of the Berklee Global Institute. In 2014 he was invited to serve as adjudicator for the Jazz Combo Competition at Harvard. In 2013 he was one of three Berklee professors to be invited to Brazil to give a week of master classes at the Conservatorio Souza Lima. In 2012 he was part of the Berklee All Stars group performing in Germany. In 2002 Laszlo was invited to perform with his trio at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference. He gave clinics and performed during the 2002 Berklee Scholarship and Audition Tour in Ireland as well. Laszlo holds degrees from the Bela Bartok Conservatory and the Science University in Budapest, as well as the Professional Music Diploma from Berklee College of Music.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Read more



Braithwaite & Katz Communications

Management and booking

Edith Toth / LGJazz    Contact: [email protected]

Laszlo Gardony Albums


From: Close Connection
By Laszlo Gardony


From: La Marseillaise
By Laszlo Gardony

Serious Play

From: Serious Play
By Laszlo Gardony

Bourbon Street Boogie

From: Life In Real Time
By Laszlo Gardony