Jason Lindner

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Jason Lindner
Jason Lindner in concert at the Treibhaus, Innsbruck
Jason Lindner in concert at the Treibhaus, Innsbruck
Background information
Born (1973-02-01) February 1, 1973 (age 51)
New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, electronica, jazz fusion, Latin, worldbeat
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, producer
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboards, synthesizer
Years activeMid-1990s–present
LabelsNow Vs Now
Websitewww.jasonlindner.com www.nowvsnow.com

Jason Lindner (born February 1, 1973) is an American pianist, keyboardist, synthesist, sound designer, composer, arranger and producer.

Life and career[edit]

Lindner was brought up in Brooklyn, New York City.[1] His father played the piano and sang, and Jason began playing the piano at the age of 2.[1] As a child, he liked heavy metal, then bebop and blues as a teenager.[2] He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.[1]

Lindner "made his mark during the 1990s", in part as leader of a big band that played at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City.[3] He was also the club's house pianist around the time it opened in 1994.[4] This band recorded the album Premonition in 1998[4] and it was released in 2000,[3] by which time Lindner had changed to leading a quintet.[4] He performed and arranged for vocalist Claudia Acuña's first album, Wind from the South.[3]

By 2004, Lindner was leading an electric group that consisted of Jacques Schwarz-Bart (sax), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Reggie Washington (bass), and Gene Jackson (drums).[4] His Now Vs. Now band began in 2006 as a quintet, with Cohen, Baba (beatbox, rap), Panagiotis Andreou (bass), and Mark Guiliana (drums).[1] Lindner commented that "I wasn't playing jazz quartet gigs anymore. I was playing in a place where we could really experiment sonically, using electric bass, the drummer playing more groove-oriented beats and less straight ahead swing. [...] I wanted to appeal to ordinary people and not just a jazz audience."[1] In the first three months of 2015 he participated in recordings sessions for David Bowie's Blackstar.[2] For this recording, he used nine keyboards and a grand piano.[2] Lindner reported that his subsequent production work was influenced by the presence of Tony Visconti for the Bowie sessions.[2]


A 2004 observer commented that Lindner's compositions are often "buoyant, singable melodies enlivened by circular, interlocking rhythms that often coalesce, swell and burst into euphoric exclamations [...with] a mesmerizing, transportive vibe that seamlessly reconciles elements of Afro-Cuban, modern and modal jazz with R&B, hip-hop and house music."[4] Between the release of Now Vs. Now's first and second albums, Lindner's compositions became influenced more by electronica.[1]


In 2009, Lindner's band was the winner of the Big Band Rising Star category in Down Beat magazine's critics' poll.[5] Lindner was Down Beat's critics' poll winner of the Keyboard Rising Star category in 2013.[6] In 2015, his band again won the Big Band Rising Star category in the Down Beat critics' poll.[7]


An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1998 Premonition Stretch Big band, with Omer Avital (bass), Dwayne Burno (bass), Avishai Cohen (bass), Daniel Freedman (drums), Jeff Ballard (drums), Kahlil Kwame Bell (percussion), David Pleasant (percussion), Myron Walden (alto saxophone), Jimmy Greene (tenor saxophone, flute), Gregory Tardy (tenor saxophone), Charles Owens (tenor saxophone), David Schumacher (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet), Avi Lebovich (trombone), Joe Fiedler (trombone), Alex Norris (trumpet), Diego Urcola (trumpet), Benu Meratae (rap vocals)
2001 Live/UK Sunnyside Quartet, with Jimmy Greene (tenor sax, flute) Omer Avital (bass), Marlon Browden (drums); recorded live for BBC Radio3 in London
2001 1, 2, 3, Etc. Fresh Sound New Talent Trio, with co-leaders Giulia Valle (bass), Marc Ayza (drums)
2004 Ab Aeterno Fresh Sound New Talent Trio, with Omer Avital (bass), Luisito Quintero (percussion)
2007 Live at the Jazz Gallery Anzic With big band; recorded live at the Jazz Gallery in New York City
2009 Now Vs Now Anzic Trio, with Panagiotis Andreou (bass, vocals), Mark Guiliana (drums); added on some tracks are Baba Israel (rap vocals, spoken word), Anat Cohen (tenor sax), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Me'Shell Ndegéocello (bass guitar, vocals), Pedrito Martinez (vocals, percussion), Yosvany Terry (percussion), Claudia Acuña (vocals)
2013 Earth Analog Now Vs Now As Now Vs Now (trio), with Panagiotis Andreou (bass), Mark Guiliana (drums)
2018 The Buffering Cocoon Jazzland As Now Vs Now (trio) with Panagiotis Andreou (bass), Justin Tyson (drums); with guests Sasha Masakowski (vocals), Natasha Diggs (guided meditation)

As sideman[edit]

Year recorded Leader Title Label
1997 Various Live at Smalls Impulse!
1997 Avishai Cohen Adama Stretch
1999 Avishai Cohen Devotion Concord
2000 Avishai Cohen Colors Concord
2007 Anat Cohen Poetica Anzic
2007 Omer Avital Free Forever Smalls
2008* Anat Cohen Notes from the Village Anzic
2009 Claudia Acuña En Este Momento Marsalis Music
2011 Omer Avital Omer Avital Quintet SmallsLive
2012 Donny McCaslin Casting for Gravity Greenleaf
2012 Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio Dafnison Music
2013 Mark Guiliana Fast Future Rockwood Music Hall Productions
2015 Donny McCaslin Fast Future Greenleaf
2016* David Bowie Blackstar RCA
2016 Donny McCaslin Beyond Now Motema
2018 Justin Brown Nyeusi Biophilia Records
2018 Donny McCaslin Blow. Motema


  1. ^ a b c d e f Matzner, Frank A. (August 18, 2014) "Jason Lindner: Beyond the Solo". AllAboutJazz.
  2. ^ a b c d Greene, Andy (December 4, 2015) "David Bowie Keyboardist Jason Lindner on Making of 'Blackstar'". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ a b c Adler, David R. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Murph, John (June 2004) "Jason Lindner" Archived 2015-02-07 at the Wayback Machine. JazzTimes.
  5. ^ "Big Band, Rising Star". (August 2009) Down Beat. p. 42.
  6. ^ "Rising Star – Keyboard". (August 2013) Down Beat. p. 63.
  7. ^ "Rising Star, Big Band". (August 2015) Down Beat. p. 64.