Lewis Porter (PhD, Brandeis, 1983) is a jazz pianist, composer (of everything from leadsheets to works for orchestra and soloists), an author, a Professor of Music at Rutgers University in Newark since 1986, and founder and director of the Master's Program in Jazz History and Research there since Fall 1997. A leading scholar and historian of all eras of jazz, he has dedicated his career to raising the standards of jazz scholarship, and to mentoring young scholars worldwide and in his Master's program. Before 1986, he taught full-time at Tufts, and part-time at Brandeis (while earning his PhD there in music history, which he received in 1983). He has also taught part-time at the New School, Manhattan School of Music, Jazz At Lincoln Center, and as a guest at numerous colleges in the US and Europe. He is an author or coauthor of seven books and numerous articles on jazz, and a consultant to record producers, publishers, and producers of jazz radio shows and films. He is a frequent guest on radio (NPR, WNYC, WBGO, etc.), often quoted in print (NY Times, Star Ledger, etc.) and occasionally appears on TV and film (BET, BBC). He was Jazz Talk moderator for 2006-9 at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he organized and led four panels a year. He made numerous media appearances in 2005 about his role in researching and releasing the Monk/Coltrane Carnegie Hall recording. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1996 (under Best Historical Reissue) for his role in producing the boxed set of Coltrane's Atlantic Recordings. Dr. Porter has performed extensively as a pianistcheck out VIDEOS where you will see him with Dave Liebman and others. Under MUSIC you will find information about his CDs, and audio samples. The critics rave: "A HELLUVA PIANO PLAYER" (Jazz Times). "(Porter plays) with a lively glitter and amazing sense of assurance." "Mixing experimental with traditional, (he) plays up a storm." "Porter is a deep thinker (whose music is) founded upon depth and cunning use of space." He is also increasingly active as a composer, not only for jazz combos but for larger groupshis three-movement concerto for saxophone and orchestra will be performed by Dave Liebman at Harvard U, April 19, 2012. He is accepting commissions for more such works. These are not "jazz arrangements," but original through-composed pieces influenced by the language of Stravinsky and Prokofiev, as well as jazz.
His first book, Lester Young (1985), appeared in a revised edition in 2005 (University of Michigan Press), with an added photo section and CD guide. Porter edited A Lester Young Reader, coauthored Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present (with Michael Ullman, and Ed Hazell; Prentice-Hall,1992), compiled an anthology of historical articles and his own essays (Jazz: A Century of Change, Schirmer Books, 1997), edited The John Coltrane Reference (Routledge 2008), and published the acclaimed study John Coltrane: His Life and Music (University of Michigan Press, Jan. 1998; Italian and French editions, 2007). The latter book won the 1999 Jazz Research Award from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections, and the Prix du livre de Jazz ("Best Jazz Book of the Year") from the Academy of Jazz in Paris. He is editor of Dave Liebman's autobiography which will be out at the end of 2011. Under PUBLICATIONS you will find more info about these and more.