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Toby Koenigsberg

Toby Koenigsberg has performed in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Puerto Rico; in Barrie, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta in Canada; in Paris, France; in London, England; in Helsinki and Järvenpää, Finland; and in Kawanoe Chuo City, Japan. He has performed with Marian McPartland, Rich Perry, Ron Miles, Ben Monder, Bill Holman, Eddie Gomez, and others. He tours regularly, performing at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival Calgary, the Tony Williams Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, the Royal Academy of Music, the Knitting Factory in New York City, and elsewhere. His most recent CD, Sense (Origin Records), garnered praise from Cadence, the All Music Guide, All About Jazz - New York, and other publications, and has received airplay on dozens of radio stations throughout the United States and internationally. His first CD, Push, features the great saxophonist Rich Perry. Koenigsberg has been honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and while attending the Eastman School of Music he received the Schirmer Award, given to the most outstanding graduate jazz performer in a graduating class.

In addition to performing, Koenigsberg has written numerous works for small and large jazz ensembles and for studio orchestra. Downbeat magazine awarded his composition "Song for Aki" Best Original Song in its 2003 Student Music Awards.

Koenigsberg is also active in jazz scholarship and pedagogy. He is published by the Jazz Education Journal, the official publication of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and by JazzED - the Jazz Educator's Magazine. He has given research presentations on the music of Bud Powell and Herbie Hancock at the 2005 annual conference of the IAJE, the Eastman School of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, Jazz Festival Calgary, and at universities throughout the United States.

Koenigsberg received his Master of Music degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music and pursued graduate study in classical piano at the Peabody Conservatory. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Oregon, where he is now associate professor of jazz piano and associate director of jazz studies.


Album Review

Toby Koenigsberg Trio: Drift

Read "Drift" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Toby Koenigsberg explored some of bop icon Bud Powell's tunes, the Great American Songbook gem “My Foolish Heart," and Bill Evans' “Show Type Tune" on his outstanding 2005 Origin Records release, Sense. And there was a warped (in a good sense) take on the “Stella By Starlight," also from the Great American Songbook. All of it sounded very modern. He pushes the modernity thing ahead further with his Drift, an homage to the late indy rock artist Elliot Smith. ...

Album Review

Toby Koenigsberg Trio: Sense

Read "Sense" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

On Sense, the Toby Koenigsberg Trio approaches jazz from intriguing angles, bringing an exciting energy and edginess to both originals and standards. The group's preferred organizing principle can be described as deconstruction by addition. The pianist/leader approaches Bud Powell's “Oblivion by artfully inserting bits and pieces of the melody like someone would assemble a jigsaw puzzle: an arpeggio here, a phrase there, until the picture is clear. Another Powell tune, “So Sorry Please, initially stumbles around like a drunk on ...

Album Review

Toby Koenigsberg Trio: Sense

Read "Sense" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

On Sense, pianist Toby Koenigsberg's trio offers up a wistful and straightforward take on the American Songbook classic “My Foolish Heart," including a poignant, spare reading of the familiar melody. However, everything else on the disc pushes the boundaries.The trio opens and closes the set with tunes by the New York-based trumpeter Andre Canniere: “Thirteen Species" and “Realizing." Both, like much of this material, have a mildly (and sometimes not so mildly) surreal quality--noir-ish in the case of ...

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Pianists continue to lead Modern Jazz in a direction that explores the future without letting go of the past.... (The Toby Koenigsberg Trio) offers creative forays into Jazz’s core. Two brief interpretations of "Stella by Starlight" serve to demonstrate the unique approach that the pianist and his trio apply to their work. Nothing is straightforward. Everything comes with a deep sense of adventure.... Koenigsberg ... drives his trio with energy. He likes to drive from the keyboard with a convincing aura that says, “We are here to deliver an exotic message that you’ve never heard before”.... “My Foolish Heart” is interpreted in its lush ballad semblance with a piercing quality. Overlaying harmonic ideas fluidly, the pianist rolls this one out slowly with passion.... (The) music swings with a creative edge. -Jim Santella, Cadence (Redwood, New York), review of Sense

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Primary Instrument



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Ninjazz Records



Origin Records



Origin Records


Thirteenth Species

From: Sense
By Toby Koenigsberg

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