Sunday, October 17, 2004

Weekend Edition: Dan Tepfer, Jazz Pianist

After an eventfully blogless week, I am back at the controls of Connectedness. Today I want to share a special musical find with all you fellow jazz enthusiasts.

First, a recent chapter of my own history. It is largely thanks to music, and jazz piano specifically, that I am here writing this blog on social network analysis, organizational development, and community building. About ten years ago I got hooked on the idea of improvising at the piano. Pretty soon I was woodshedding under the guidance of Dave Frank. Dave was a great influence on me -- a passionate free spirit who put his deep analytical rigor completely to the service of his music and teaching, never the other way around. I loved that he was a college professor (at Berklee) but never attended college himself.

My piano passion grew year by year. Eventually, I dove into jazz piano headfirst and left my day job as a logistics consultant. It was a hard life, but one rich with artistic and personal growth. Still, after a couple years, I was ready for something less gritty. A former girlfriend suggested selling pianos. I told her, are you kidding? But once I got over my used car salesman phobia, I realized she might be on to something.

I headed to the Steinway dealership downtown and stumbled upon a life-changing opportunity. The manager there has a knack for sizing up people on the spot. He asked me, would I like to found and direct a nonprofit dedicated to supporting emerging pianists? I thought the idea sounded spectacular, but actually, it turned out even better.

I could go on, but it's time to bring this back to Connectedness. Not long after our nonprofit got rolling and I was having a fantastic time, I noticed a funny thing: the networks I had studied in school seemed like an awfully good way of modeling the connections I was managing as a nonprofit director. Was there something to this? Dear reader, I suspect you know the answer to that question as well as I do.

And now back to my original point... Dan Tepfer! I originally bumped into Dan about a year ago, and got hold of his demo CD, which is an impressive display of pianistic creativity. I finally got to hear him live a couple weeks ago at a Piano-thon at the Zeitgeist Gallery, Inman Square, Cambridge. I loved his playing so much I went to hear him again last Friday, again at Zeitgeist, this time with a trio. Wow! If you like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, or Brad Mehldau (some of my faves) then I strongly suggest you catch Dan Tepfer soon, before he gets huge and starts playing big venues with expensive tickets.

Here is the Dan Tepfer Trio playing All the Things You Are.

1 comment:

Carli Munoz said...

Hi Bruce, I tried to listen to the Dan Tepfer Trio playing All the Things You Are, but the site doesn't seem to be available.

Can you shed some light on that?