Aaron Goldberg is a pianist and composer performing at the vanguard of jazz music. His working trio comprises two of the premier voices of his generation, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. His two most recent albums on the Sunnyside Records label are co-led projects: the first is Bienestan (2011), with Argentinian composer Guillermo Klein, featuring original music for duo, trio, quartet, quintet and sextet, and the second is YES!, (2012) a trio co-led by Omer Avital and Ali Jackson Jr. His prior two albums on Sunnyside as a leader are Home (2010) and Worlds (2006), both exhibiting the sensitivity and dynamism of his longstanding working trio along with several very special guests.
All of these albums have been critically acclaimed by The New York Times and DOWNBEAT among others: "Jazz doesn't have many great albums featuring two pianists…so 'Bienestan' is exceptional in more than one sense. The music is complex but never cold, and when the keyboardists do square off alone they sound entwined, like extensions of each other." NY Times.“‘Home’ is full of swirling currents and dizzying flourishes, but its basic temperament is reflective, inward-seeking. It’s a statement of confident serenity.” NY Times. “On ‘Worlds’ Goldberg works hand-in-glove with Rogers and Harland, his bass–drum team of choice for the last decade, displaying quickwitted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and a cut-to-the-chase sense of narrative logic. DOWNBEAT. “On this lush and superlatively swinging set, Jackson, Goldberg and Avital explore the value of time and space, and what happens when those musical principles are measured with grace and a little grit. The YES! Trio seemingly knock back a few cool ones, take their own sweet time and put some serious soul to CD.” DOWNBEAT.
In addition to performing and recording with his trio and various co-led projects, Aaron has spent the last 10 years touring with many of the most brilliant voices in jazz-- Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Nicholas Payton, Al Foster, Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Madeleine Peyroux among others.
Aaron was born in Boston and got hooked on jazz in high school by Bob Sinicrope of Milton Academy and saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, two master educators. In his own words: “At first improvisation was a mystery and a puzzle, but soon it became a profound inner and outer journey as life and music entwined.” After receiving awards from Berklee College of Music and DOWNBEAT Magazine, Aaron left at age 17 for NYC. At the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 1991 he had his first taste of jazz in the big city, and at school he met many of his current contemporaries and friends, including Omer Avital, Brad Mehldau, Roy Hargrove, Ali Jackson and others. In 1992 he returned to Boston and enrolled at Harvard College. While at Harvard, Aaron worked with a wide variety of artists from nearby Berklee and beyond, and won the International Association of Jazz Educators’ prestigious Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship award as well as first place in National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search. Soon he was discovered by vocalist and first lady of jazz Betty Carter and was a founding member of her historic Jazz Ahead program. He continued to perform at clubs around both New York and Boston, often commuting back and forth in the post-midnight hours. Aaron graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1996 with a degree in History and Science and a concentration in Mind, Brain and Behavior. On the weekends he held a long-time residence at Wally's Cafe in Boston, and the fall after graduation he moved to Brooklyn. Aaron wasted no time in the Big Apple. He quickly established himself as a stellar sideman, performing with a vast array of leaders including Al Foster, Stefon Harris, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Mark Turner, Greg Tardy and others. In 1998 he joined the band of Joshua Redman, with whom he toured for 4 years and recorded two albums (Beyond, 2001 and Passage of Time, 2002). In addition to leading his telepathic trio, Aaron has since toured and recorded for several years with guitar guru Kurt Rosenwinkel, vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, The Three Cohens featuring Anat Cohen and Avishai Cohen, and master trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, both in his quartet as well as with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Aaron’s long and impressive list of recorded credits as a collaborator includes over 70 cds with a diverse spectrum of artists, ranging from Guillermo Klein to Terry Gibbs/Buddy DeFranco to John Ellis to Magos Herrera to Eli Degibri. His first recording as a leader, Turning Point, was released on the J Curve label in 1999, followed by Unfolding in 2002. Aaron is also a member of the OAM Trio, which recorded Trilingual (1999) and Flow (2002) for the Fresh Sound/New Talent label, as well as two collaborations with saxophonist Mark Turner: an studio project entitled Now and Here (2010) on Karonte Records and the acclaimed Live in Sevilla (2003) on Lola Records.
Despite a demanding touring schedule, Aaron maintains an active interest in both education and the role of music in society as a whole. In 2004 and 2008, Aaron produced and performed in Jazz for America's Future and Jazz for Obama, fundraising concerts for Sen. John Kerry and President Barack Obama respectively. These historic events featured such artists as Roy Haynes, Savion Glover, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, and Michael Brecker among others. Aaron is also a renowned clinician at jazz workshops, universities and conservatories worldwide, as well as a member of the instrumental faculty at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He the co-arranger/composer (with John Ellis) of the Baby Loves Jazz series of books and cds, and moonlights as the musical director of All Souls at Sundown, a jazz and poetry series in NYC. In 2010 Aaron received a Masters in Philosophy from Tufts University.