Ted Piltzecker

Biography Ted Piltzecker

Ted Piltzecker

Ted Piltzecker
Vibraphonist/Composer Ted Piltzecker has eclectic musical interests. He has performed throughout the United States and around the globe, and his seven albums as a leader have been influential in both the percussion and jazz worlds.

Ted’s debut album, Destinations, climbed to number eight in national jazz airplay, and his second release, Unicycle Man remained on the Gavin Jazz Chart for months. Jazz writer and critic, the late Nat Hentoff praised the album as “a lyrical, thoughtful, relaxing meeting of mutually appreciative improvisers whose time is timeless.” All About Jazz reports that in his solo vibraphone album, Standing Alone “He fills the 43-minutes with expressive grace, maintaining interest throughout”, and cites his release Steppe Forward as “an upbeat, joyous and uplifting album, from beginning to end”. Ted's 2018 album entitled Brindica is a reflection of his four-month venture around the world. "Piltzecker writes and arranges tunes that draw on tango, second-line, Afro-Cuban, South African, and even carnatic influences, always in an organic, fun, and respectful way. The result is a stylistic kaleidoscope of an album that reveals new combinations of rhythm and harmony at every turn and always sparkes with wit and good humor." CDHotList

His latest release Vibes On A Breath, a septet with four horns, vibes, bass, and drums, was released on August 18, 2023. “The intimacy of the approach along with the addition of bass clarinet and flugelhorn doubles adds an extra layer of richness and color to the already mesmerizing arrangements. Piltzecker's work transports to an alluring musical world where every note is infused with a personal touch”. Jazz Weekly. ​

Ted has performed with many of the great names in jazz in New York (guitarists Jack Wilkins, Gene Burtoncini and Vic Juris, bassists Mike Richmond, Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman, drummers Lewis Nash, Dennis Mackrel, and Clarence Penn, Marty Morell, pianists Jim McNeeley, John Hicks, Donald Vega, and BillCharlap, and with saxophonists Chris Potter, Ralph Lalama, and Javon Jackson), and while directing the jazz program at the Aspen Music Festival (Jimmy Heath, Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Mel Torme, Ernie Watts, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and many more). He has toured internationally as a member of the famed George Shearing Quintet, and has led many of his own unique ensembles including Pendulum, a duo with Canadian pianist Jim Hodgkinson. Ted’s diverse musical interests have also included tours with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, national TV spots with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen, appearances at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York with organist Dorothy Papadakos, and chamber music concerts with classical cellists, Yehuda Hanani and Julia Lichten, violinists, Ruben Gonzales and Calvin Wiersma, clarinetists Ayako Oshima and Dick Waller, harpists Nancy Allen and Emily Mitchell, bandoneónist, Hector Del Curto, table player Jagannath Dhaugoda, and gadulka player (Bulgarian violin) Nikolay Kolev.

Ted Piltzecker has received composition awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Lincoln Center Institute, and the ASCAP Foundation. His works have been aired on National Public Radio’s "Performance Today" and the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s "Arts National" and have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. As a guest of the People’s Republic of China, he premiered new works for percussion at the Conservatories in Beijing and Wuhan in the summer of 2013. In the summer of 2014 he premiered two new works, one for wind ensemble and one for large jazz ensemble, at the Conservatório de Tatuí in Brazil. His orchestral work Precarious Indifference was premiered in 2016 at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, State University of New York where he is a professor emeritus of music composition. A new setting for his composition Tango For An Elegant Man for vibraphone, marimba and full orchestra was premiered in July 2023 in Argentina.

Ted Piltzecker is a graduate of the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music, and continues to teach at the University of Hartford (Hartt School) in Connecticut. He also serves as a pilot with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Additional information, including recordings and videos, may be found at TedVibes.com.

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