Title/Position: Assistant Professor, Jazz PianoProfile:
Why did you choose music as your career?
I never remember making a conscious decision to choose music as a career…I began working as a musician when I was 15, and it just felt natural to continue that path.
What would you say are the most outstanding highlights of your professional life?
Performing and recording with some of the musical idols I grew up listening to has definitely been one of the biggest highlights of my career. Also the chance to record and perform with my own group, and to travel and perform all over the world has been wonderful as well.
Who were your earliest musical influences?
Truthfully, my earliest musical influence was KISS, as they made me want to be a musician! In jazz, however, my earliest influences include Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Michael Brecker, John Coltrane, as well as rock and pop bands such as Living Colour, Fishbone, Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Rage Against the Machine. Classical music influences included Copland, Alberto Ginastera, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.
What do you hope to pass onto your students?
I hope to pass on a deeper incite into jazz/improvised music, their instrument, and their overall approach to improvising. I also hope to help prepare them for a career in music-both positively and realistically. I want to give them the tools necessary to not only help them become great musicians, but also working, profitable ones.
Why should a potential student choose the Frost School of Music?
Frost School of Music has consistently been had one of the top jazz programs since the 1970s. Many of the alumni have become star performers and recording artists, highly regarded side men and women, award winning composers and arrangers, and top tier educators. Most of all, the Frost School of Music has one of the most musically open and welcoming atmospheres I’ve ever come across in a University: improvising music of all styles is welcomed and encouraged here, while still providing students with the fundamentals of traditional jazz and swing music that are necessary to any student of jazz.
What music are you listening to these days?
All types! Jazz-wise, I am currently obsessed with Miguel Zenon and his group, and listening as well to Brad Meldauh, Hiromi, Gonzalo Rubulcaba, Bud Powell, Wayne Shorter, and Eldar.
Finish the statement, “Music is …”
Martin Bejerano is assistant professor of jazz piano at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A native of Miami, Florida, Bejerano is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, Florida State University, and the University of Miami (M.M., Jazz Piano Performance). After winning third place in the prestigious 1999 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, he moved to New York City and joined the quartet of legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes. In 2004, their recording Fountain of Youth was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album. In 2002, Martin Bejerano also joined guitarist Russell Malone’s quartet, and continues to tour and record with both groups. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as the Christian McBride Band, Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove, Adam Nussbaum, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Lonnie Plaxico Group and Marcus Printup at major jazz festivals, clubs and venues around the world. He has presented numerous clinics and toured with “Jazz Reach,” a non-profit organization that presents multimedia concerts for school children. In 2007, his debut CD as a leader, Evolution/Revolution (Reservoir) rose to number nine on the Jazz Week Jazz Album Chart. He was recently awarded the New Jazz Works composer/ensemble grant from Chamber Music of America. Bejerano maintains a busy teaching studio at the Frost School and also performs, arranges, records and tours the U.S. and abroad.