Pianist, composer, and arranger Larry Ham is a veteran New York sideman, performing, touring, and recording with many great jazz artists. His own recordings have also received international critical acclaim: “Presence” a recent collaboration with saxophonist Woody Witt, “Carousel” featuring his own compositions and trio arrangements, and a solo piano release “Just Me, Just You…” on Arbors Jazz Records. All are available on the “CDs” page.
David Dupont of Cadence Jazz Magazine writes, “He glides over the keys with each note articulated cleanly…his playing is masterful.” And Mike Neely in All About Jazz calls him “…a pianist well on his way to becoming a master.”
Larry began his professional career in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in the late ’80’s. He was pianist in the Illinois Jacquet Big Band 1990-95 and has worked extensively with countless other jazz legends, including the late Junior Cook and Dakota Staton. He has appeared at jazz festivals, concerts and nightclubs throughout the United States, Europe, West Africa, and Japan. His New York appearances include Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Carnegie Hall, Iridium, The Village Vanguard, Birdland, Small’s, Mezzrow, and Harlem’s historic Lenox Lounge.
His jazz festival performances include the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, France, the North Sea Festival in The Hague, Holland, the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, Jazz Yatra in Bombay, India, The Charlie Parker Festival in New York, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. He also performed at the White House for President Reagan and for President Clinton’s 1992 Inaugural Ball. Larry appeared in the jazz film “Texas Tenor” and has been a guest on TV programs including “The Today Show” (NBC) “Breakfast Time” (FX) and has been featured on NPR programs such as “Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater” and on Judy Carmichael’s “Jazz Inspired.”
As a United States Department of State Jazz Ambassador, Larry toured eleven West African nations in 2001-02 in a cultural exchange program, performing in concert, and conducting workshops on the art of playing jazz. From 2002-05 he was pianist and musical director for the New York Tapdance Festival, also touring the United States and Russia, Greece and Italy. In 2007, he appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall) in New York.
More recently he has toured extensively in the US, and performed in Japan, Canada, Germany, Poland, England, Switzerland, Austria, France and The Czech Republic. Recent festival appearances include The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Rochester Jazz Festival, The Cape Cod Jazz Festival, the New Jersey JazzFest, and a performance for The West Texas Jazz Society.
Larry earned a BA in Musical Studies from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and an MA in Jazz Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City. He currently teaches Jazz Piano and Jazz Improv at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.