Praised by the New Yorker magazine as, “A young pianist of invention and refinement,” Bobby Avey has established himself as an emerging star in the jazz community. In 2011, he won the esteemed Thelonious Monk Competition for composition. This award followed his 2010 debut record as a leader, A New Face, lauded by the NY Times as “A promising debut.” In 2005, while a student at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, he was invited by NEA Jazz Master David Liebman to adapt and arrange art songs from the Classical and Romantic eras for reinterpretation, creating a vehicle for improvisation. The project, which culminated with the album Vienna Dialogues, was released in 2006 on ZOHO to rave reviews.
In 2011, Avey received the New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development grant from Chamber Music America. The grant enabled Avey to travel to Haiti to record a Vodou Ceremony in the small village of Soukri and then create an hour-long suite grounded in rhythms found in Haitian Vodou drumming. The suite, entitled Authority Melts From Me, pays homage to the Haitian Revolution and was premiered and recorded in November 2012. Authority Melts From Me features Avey, Miguel Zenón, Ben Monder, Thomson Kneeland, and Jordan Perlson.
In April 2013, Avey released his first solo piano album, Be Not So Long To Speak, on Minsi Ridge Records. The project features originals, improvisations, as well as renditions of Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust and Quincy Jones’ P.Y.T.
Avey recently joined the David Liebman group Expansions.
Bobby Avey is a past Yamaha Young Performing Artiston piano and graduated from Purchase Conservatory of Music summa cum laude in 2007.