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Roberta Piket

The daughter of a European composer and a Great American Songbook singer, native New Yorker Roberta Piket is a pianist who loves to swing while exploring the more adventurous harmonic possibilities of jazz and improvised music.

Roberta’s father was the Austrian composer Frederick Piket, whose works were performed by the New York Philharmonic under famed conductor Dimtri Metropolis. (The elder Piket, who passed away when Roberta was eight, is also renowned for his significant contribution to the musical liturgy of reform Judaism.)

From her mother, Cynthia, Roberta learned by ear the tunes of Porter, Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers, and Berlin (as well as accompanying lyrics).

In her early teens, a chance encounter with a classic LP rescued from a flea market changed the course of Roberta’s life.

“My older brother had bought a few copies of an old Muse LP of Walter Bishop Jr.’s trio for 25 cents each. He played it for me and I flipped. I just fell in love with the sound of the jazz piano trio. The CD was called Speak Low, and I found the original sheet music for that tune in my mother’s collection. I learned all the songs on that record,” which, in addition to the title tune, included Alone Together, Milestones and On Green Dolphin Street. Shortly after that epiphany, Roberta became fascinated with the 20th century classical recordings that had belonged to her late father. Soon she was dividing her time between the stacks of old sheet music in the attic, learning standards, and the Bartok and Schoenberg records and scores in her father’s library. Sprinkled into the mix were a handful of Ellington scores borrowed from the New York Public Library, and saturation listening to WRVR-FM, the New York jazz radio station at the time. As her passion for music intensified, Roberta’s mother tried to discourage her from the difficult path of a professional musician. As a compromise, she attended the joint five-year double-degree program at Tufts University and New England Conservatory. “Coming from a high school with a strong liberal arts curriculum [New York’s prestigious Hunter College High School], I was not opposed to continuing in the liberal arts tradition in college, rather than narrowing my focus only to music. I believed then, and still believe, that an artist needs to be stimulated by the surrounding culture and not live in a vacuum.” Roberta graduated with a degree in computer science from Tufts and a degree in jazz piano from New England Conservatory, but after a year as a software engineer, it was clear her heart was in music, and she returned to her native New York to study and play.

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"Roberta Piket is a gifted pianist and composer who leads one of the most accomplished and idiosyncratic piano trios in jazz…” -Tom Conrad, JazzTimes

"The jazz pianist Roberta Piket isn't a blusterer: each of her pieces seeks to solve a particular problem, and she's quietly been working on form and conceptual matters in the spirit of devoted explorers like Chick Corea and Richie Beirach." -Ben Ratliff, New York Times

"Constantly curious, she has released a series of recordings probing across the landscape from retro��"mainstream to free jazz." -Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times

A favorite of Marian McPartland, Piket is a deeply swinging, intelligent, two-fisted pianist. -Paul deBarros, Seattle Times

Primary Instrument

Piano

Location

New York City

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Human Qualities

Summit Records
2021

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New Shoes: Kind of...

Summit Records
2020

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Domestic Harmony:...

Thirteenth Note Records
2019

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West Coast Trio

13th Note
2018

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Roberta Piket: West...

Thirteenth Note Records
2018

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Ugly Beautiful

Thirteenth Note Records
2017

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Fallin In Love With Love

From: West Coast Trio
By Roberta Piket

All The Things You Are

From: Emanation
By Roberta Piket

Claude's Clawed

From: Love and Beauty
By Roberta Piket

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