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Patti Preiss: Bio

PATTI PREISS

Patti Preiss has been performing on the piano since the age of seven. During her career as a professional musician, she has appeared at such venues as New York's Carnegie Recital Hall and the Bottom Line; The Hague Jazz Festival, The Netherlands; Norway's Molde Jazz Festival; the Jazz Festival at Cannes, France; and "At My Place" in Los Angeles. She has concertized with jazz greats Jimmy Giuffre, Ed Blackwell and Karl Berger; toured with renowned jazz composer Carla Bley; and recorded with legendary folk artist Arlo Guthrie. Ms. Preiss has also led a number of her own groups performing her original compositions and jazz standards.

In the 80's, Patti released a recording of original piano improvisations entitled "Jamaica's Album" on her own record label as well as wrote a book on techniques of improvisation, "Musical Materials." In addition, she received numerous grants to support her composing and performance projects. In the 1990's, Ms. Preiss served as vocal accompanist at the State University of New York at Purchase, and as dance accompanist for the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts and the Steffi Nossen School of Dance.  She also performed regularly at private functions throughout the metropolitan New York area and appeared frequently at the Regency Hyatt Hotel in Greenwich, Connecticut, playing contemporary jazz.  

More recently Patti has been the accompanist for several choruses, including the Darien-based Blue Notes and the Greenwich-based Angel Choir directed by singer Pamela Kuhn.  She formed a quartet with her husband, saxophonist Bill Harris, bassist Andy Eulau and drummer Thierry Arpino to perform her original jazz compositions. She works with jazz singer Sylvia Mims Goncalves.  She also concertizes with the Piano Ensemble, a group of seven women performing nineteenth and twentieth-century piano music for four and eight hands.  

A classically-trained pianist, Patti is equally proficient in jazz, classical, pop, and musical theater styles. She holds a bachelor's degree in music composition from Harvard University and a Master of Fine Arts in performance from the California Institute of the Arts. In addition to performing live, Ms. Preiss teaches piano and composition privately. She is noted as an "emerging contemporary performer" in Linda Dahl's book "Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen." Patti can also be found in the "Who's Who of American Women" and in "Who's Who in Entertainment."