is one of the preeminent jazz pianists of his generation, having recorded over 20 albums as leader/co-leader and receiving critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and Jazz Times, including a “Coup de Coeur” from the Académie Charles Cros (France). Hays has also appeared on over 60 records as a sideman, his list of notable musical associations including tours and records with Sonny Rollins, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Al Foster, John Scofield, and Steve Gadd.
Modern Music (2011, Nonesuch), a two-piano collaboration with Brad Mehldau and composer Patrick Zimmerli, garnered widespread praise, with several works premiered at Carnegie Hall, and tours throughout the US, Europe, and South America. The solo Variations (Pirouet, 2011), was released to excellent reviews throughout North America and Europe and features three sets of improvised variations on several original themes, along with exquisite variations on a fugue by Robert Schumann.
His latest project, the New Day Trio, features bassist Rob Jost and drummer Greg Joseph. Although traditional in instrumentation,the trio’s musical scope and repertoire goes beyond the standard jazz trio, bridging Hays's love of classical, blues, soul, folk and rock music. The New Day Trio have released two albums - 2015’s New Day and 2016’s North (Sunnyside Records) - and toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan.
studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with Miroslav Vitous and Dave Holland before moving to New York in 1991. He has performed and toured with many notable artists including Danilo Pérez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roswell Rudd, Lee Konitz, David Sanchez, James Moody, Mark Turner, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Junior Cook, and Jimmy Scott, among many others.
Street's selected discography includes The Next Step, The Enemies of Energy, Heartcore (Kurt Rosenwinkel), Til Then, Live at the Jazz Showcase (Danilo Pérez), Coral, Cultural Survival (David Sanchez), La Bikina (Ed Simon), Morenica (Anthony Coleman), Holiday Songs and Lullabies (Shawn Colvin), At Last (Cyndi Lauper), Guilty (Ethan Iverson, Jorge Rossy, and Chris Cheek), Widening Circles (Barney McAll), Dust (Ben Monder Trio), Space Cowboys Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Purple Violets (Sam Rivers/Kresten Osgood), and Quartet (Billy Hart).
William “Billy” Hart
(born November 29, 1940 in Washington, D.C.) is a jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.
Early on Hart performed in Washington, D.C. with soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, and then later with Buck Hill and Shirley Horn, and was a sideman with the Montgomery Brothers (1961), Jimmy Smith (1964–1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966–1968). Hart moved to New York in 1968, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland.
Hart was a member of Herbie Hancock’s sextet (1969–1973), and played with McCoy Tyner (1973–1974), Stan Getz (1974–1977), and Quest (1980s), in addition to extensive freelance playing (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972’s On the Corner).
Billy Hart works steadily and teaches widely. Since the early 1990s Hart spends considerable time at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and is adjunct faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music and Western Michigan University. He also conducts private lessons through The New School and New York University. Hart often contributes to the Stokes Forest Music Camp and the Dworp Summer Jazz Clinic in Belgium.
He leads the Billy Hart Quartet with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street, which has released two albums on ECM Records.