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Prof. Adam Kolker

Adam Kolker
610-683-4550 
Old Main 114 

Adam Kolker is a multi-talented performer, composer and arranger. He performed and recorded with latin-jazz artist Ray Barretto from 1994 through 2002 (with whom he received two GRAMMY nominations). He also appears in New York City with groups including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Fred Hersch's "My Coma Dreams," the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Bruce Barth, Judi Silvano, Lucia Pulido, and his own groups with John Abercombie and Billy Hart. He has recorded with Bruce Barth, John Hébert, Marty Ehrlich, The Story, Allan Chase, Bobby Previte, Gunther Schuller, Bruce Saunders, Frank Carlberg, among others.

Upcoming releases include a CD with a cooperatively-led quartet with Scott Wendholt, Ugonna Okegwo and Victor Lewis, and with Yard Byard, a quintet dedicated to performing the music of Jaki Byard. Adam is also a member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, and was a full time Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1999-2008.

Kolker's first release as a leader, "Crazybird", on A Records (with Tim Hagans, Kevin Hays, Jeff Ballard and Doug Weiss), reached the Top Ten on the CMJ Charts, and received critical acclaim from such publications as Jazz Times, JazzIz and the Village Voice.

Other CDs include "Sultanic Verses" (Satchmo Jazz Records) with Bruce Barth, Billy Hart, Ray Barretto and John Hébert, "Change Of Time" (OmniTone Records) a trio with Russ Lossing and John Hébert, and "Mikrokosmos" (OmniTone Records) based on music by Bela Bartok on which received 4 1/2 stars in Downbeat Magazine and was voted one of the Top CD's of the Decade.

"Meditacions" (Satchmo Jazz Records) co-led with Catalan drummer Xavi Maureta, received the award for "Best Modern Jazz CD" from the Catalan Jazz Society in 2002, and Kolker's "Flag Day," (Sunnyside) with John Abercrombie, John Hébert and Paul Motian, received critical acclaim from media including including New York Times, Jazz Times, Stereophile, and Downbeat.

In May 2011, Kolker released "Reflections" (Sunnyside), with John Abercrombie, John Hébert, Russ Lossing, Billy Mintz, Judi Silvano and Kay Matsukawa. 


"KOLKER IS A REAL IMPROVISER, MAKING IMPULSIVE CHOICES ABOUT PHRASING AND HOW TO IMPLY A CHORD, GIVING EACH OF HIS NOTES A STRONG, STRANGE CHARACTER." -NEW YORK TIMES

"YOU WILL BE DELIGHTED AND ASTONISHED, AND PERHAPS PISSED OFF, THAT AN ARTIST AS SPECIAL AS ADAM KOLKER COULD GET TO BE ALMOST 50 WITHOUT BECOMING FAMOUS." -JAZZ TIMES

"KOLKER'S ASSURED PLAYING IS BOUNCY, SWINGING AND UNPREDICTABLE . . . " -DOWNBEAT

Content from Adam Kolker.com.