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Randy Halberstadt

Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene for many years. A multi-dimensional pianist, he is equally at home playing be-bop, Latin, down-home blues, mainstream, free and eclectic jazz. He has performed with Herb Ellis, Terry Gibbs, Buddy de Franco, Matt Wilson, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, Joe LaBarbera, and many others. In 1990, Randy performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with drummer Mel Brown. Randy has performed with the Seattle Symphony and is the pianist for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.

On the strength of his large repertoire, great sense of swing, and acute listening skills, Randy has established himself as a first-call accompanist for jazz vocalists. He has performed with Sheila Jordan, Kevin Mahogany, Dee Daniels, Greta Matassa, Marlena Shaw, Meredith d’Ambrosio, Ernestine Anderson, Nancy Kelly, and Jackie Ryan. In 1997 Randy performed with the innovative Jay Clayton at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He is featured on Jay’s 1997 recording Circle Dancing (Sunnyside) and Nancy Kelly’s 2009 recording Well Alright! In 2004 Randy joined Meredith d’Ambrosio for a concert tour of Israel.

While Halberstadt’s own recordings showcase his formidable pianistic skills, they also establish him as a first-rate composer. Inner Voice (1991, Pony Boy Records) features Randy’s compositions in the jazz trio format, which range from blues to Latin to polymetric. Clockwork (1996, Pony Boy Records) presents Randy’s beautiful songs with self-penned lyrics and features five of the Northwest’s best vocalists. Jay Clayton’s remarkable gift for conveying the true emotion of a ballad is in evidence here, as well as her stunning prowess as a scat singer. Flash Point (2010, Origin) includes several of Randy’s compositions for quintet.

Randy arranged most of the music for Seattle vocalist Janis Mann’s recordings, A Little Moonlight, Lost In His Arms, and So Many Stars (Pancake Records) and for Greta Matassa’s recording All This And Heaven Too—Live at Bake’s Place (Origin). And Randy’s arrangements of standards garnered his third recording, Parallel Tracks (Origin Records) the Earshot Award for Northwest Recording of 2004.

While Randy continues to expand his talents as a pianist, composer, and arranger, he has taken equal pleasure in helping younger musicians fulfill their potential. As a full professor at the prestigious Cornish College of the Arts (in Seattle) until May 2018, Randy coached ensembles and taught jazz theory, piano, and ear training. He also teaches annually at the Blaine Jazz Festival and at Jazz Port Townsend, and is a highly sought-after private teacher.

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Album Review

Meredith d'Ambrosio: Sometime Ago

Read "Sometime Ago" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Dopo dieci anni di silenzio discografico è un gran piacere ascoltare un nuovo album della cantante di Boston, il diciassettesimo per la Sunnyside, con cui pubblica dalla metà degli anni ottanta, qualche anno dopo il suo debutto. Più che cantante Meredith preferisce definirsi “song stylist" e tale resta all'età di 81 anni, senza perdere un grammo di classe interpretativa e pregevole essenzialità. Con l'età il timbro s'è irrobustito, conferendo nuove ombreggiature al suo eloquio ma intonazione e ...

Album Review

Randy Halberstadt: Open Heart

Read "Open Heart" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Seattle based pianist Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest for several decades, applying his talents as a pianist, composer, educator, and author. He has four previous releases as a leader, most recently with Flash Point (Origin, 2010). So yes, it has been some time since we last heard from the multidimensional pianist. In the meantime, Halberstadt has garnered a reputation as an accompanist for jazz vocalists, most notably with ...

Album Review

Randy Halberstadt: Parallel Tracks

Read "Parallel Tracks" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The piano trio format serves me not only as a sort of nourishment, but also as a form of reset device. Every couple of months I push back the larger ensemble discs and and pull out the most vibrant piano trio discs of the past year or so, put them on the stereo and listen to some jazz, straight, no chaser, for pure personal enjoyment, and to recalibate the ears.Seattle-based pianist Randy Halberstadt's Parallel Tracks, with its collective ...

Book Review

Metaphors for the Musician, Perspectives from a Jazz Pianist

Read "Metaphors for the Musician, Perspectives from a Jazz Pianist" reviewed by Jason West

Metaphors for the Musician Randy Halberstadt Sher Music Co. ISBN: 0-306-81066-2

A good instruction book on jazz can go along way in the inspiration and development of student musicians. A jazzman's tips, secrets, encouragement and advice are gold to young performers struggling to make it happen in the business. Luckily, there are some musicians, like Seattle pianist Randy Halberstadt, who are able to put their on-the-job perspectives into words. Halberstadt's new book is the ...

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Randy Halberstadt and Susan Pascal - Hands Across the Border

Randy Halberstadt and Susan Pascal - Hands Across the Border

Source: All About Jazz

Hands across the Border On May 24, 2008 Sylvan United Church in Mill Bay will feature Seattle's pianist Randy Halberstadt and Susan Pascal on vibraphone for the popular monthly Jazz Vespers program now in its third year. Performance time is 4:30 pm, admission by donation at the door, includes light refreshments following the program. Information 250.743-4301 or sylvanjazzvespers.com. The same evening at 8 pm the duo will perform at Hermann's Jazz Club, 753 View Street, Victoria, BC, admission at the ...




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Sometime Ago

Sunnyside Records


Open Heart

Origin Records


Parallel Tracks

Unknown label


Flash Point

Origin Records



From: Open Heart
By Randy Halberstadt


From: Flash Point
By Randy Halberstadt



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