Julian Waterfall Pollack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Julian Waterfall Pollack
Born (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 (age 28)
Genres Jazz, classical, pop
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, producer
Instruments Piano
Years active 2004–present
Labels Junebeat, Berthold
Website www.julianpollack.com

Julian Waterfall Pollack (born June 28, 1988) is an American pianist, composer, songwriter and producer associated with jazz, classical, and pop music.[1][2]


Early life[edit]

Raised in Berkeley, California, Pollack was introduced to music through his parents, Susan Waterfall (an accomplished concert pianist), and Allan Pollack (a conductor, saxophonist and professor of music at UC Berkeley).[3][4] He began formal study of the piano at age of five with his mother, and was called a child prodigy, able to play difficult pieces of classical music well beyond his years. He attended The Crowden School in Berkeley, California, for his middle school years, where he received training in orchestral playing, chamber music, harmony, and counterpoint, as well as a courses in the liberal arts.[1]

He later attended Berkeley High School where he developed his love for jazz, playing as principal pianist for four years in their award-winning jazz ensemble. He released his debut jazz trio album, Goin' For It, to much critical acclaim in the San Francisco Bay Area and achieved national recognition by being featured on Jazziz Magazine's monthly CD.[5]

After completing high schooling in 2006, he was offered a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, but opted to instead attend New York University in New York City.[1]


In 2007, he appeared as a guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz radio show aired on NPR.[6]

He released his second trio album, Infinite Playground, to great critical acclaim in 2010. The album featured bassist Noah Garabedian and drummer Evan Hughes.[7] Notably, the album showcased Pollack's growing interest in blending multiple genres with jazz improvisation and classical composition. The record included Pollack's original pieces alongside jazz standards (Rogers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine" and Ray Noble's "Cherokee") and Lennon & McCartney's "And I Love Her".[7] He continued this trajectory with the trio's 2013 release, Waves of Albion, which included a polyrhythmic arrangement of Death Cab for Cutie's "What Sarah Said", Bon Iver's "Flume", as well as the American folk song Oh Shenandoah.[8]

Pollack composed a three movement piano concerto in 2012. It was premiered by the Camellia Symphony in Sacramento, CA. The work's style and form drew heavily upon jazz, minimalism, and French impressionism.[3]

In 2013, Pollack composed "Brooklyn Boomerang," a piece for two pianos which premiered at the Greenwich House in Manhattan in November by Pollack and acclaimed pianist Natalie Tenenbaum.[9] He also completed a string quartet, commissioned by the Telluride Chamber Music Festival and the Ives String Quartet, during this period.[10][11]

Pollack premiered a new composition for orchestra, entitled "Night Flower," at the 2014 Mendocino Music Festival.[12]


In 2006, Pollack met nationally-acclaimed singer-songwriter Grace Weber[13] while living on the same dormitory floor during their freshman year at NYU.[14][15] They formed the band Grace & Julian and recorded their eponymously-titled debut shortly after. The duo added additional musicians and evolved into the Grace Weber Band, as Pollack relinquished his role as a co-leader prior to the release of their four-song EP, Sparrows.[16] Pollack has continued to serve as a co-writer for many of Weber's songs, including all twelve songs featured on Weber's 2011 album Hope & Heart, which debuted number 8 on iTunes in the Singer-Songwriter category.[17]

Pollack has also collaborated with Broadway-star Carrie Manolakos on her independent solo singer-songwriter project. In April 2012, they performed at the (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City for Manolakos' CD Release concert. The concert concluded with a performance of Radiohead's "Creep" which Pollack arranged for the occasion. A video recording of the performance became a viral sensation on YouTube and has since received over 2 million views.[18] [19]


"Julian Waterfall Pollack, a young pianist who deftly balances virtuosity with tenderness..."[20]

"Pollack is not a minimalist composer as the term is usually meant. He might be called post-minimalist, in that he’s incorporated minimalist tools into his musical vocabulary, as John Adams and others have. His music is not as abstract or cerebral as that comparison might suggest."[11]

— David Bratman, San Francisco Classical Voice


As leader[edit]

Title Year Label
Waves of Albion 2013 Berthold[8][21]
Infinite Playground 2010 Junebeat[7][22]
94 & 95 2008 Junebeat[15]
Solitude 2007 Junebeat
Grace & Julian 2007 Junebeat
Goin’ For It 2006 Jazzschool[5]
Alive Again 2004 Independent Release

As sideman[edit]

Album artist Title Year Label
Peter Schwebs In-Between Seasons & Places 2012 Berthold[23]
Grace Weber Hope & Heart 2011 Junebeat[17]
Chase Baird Crosscurrent 2010 Junebeat[24]
Peter Schwebs Stories from Sugar Hill 2010 Laika[25]


  1. ^ a b c Wiegand, David. "Julian Pollack in Mendocino for Family BIz". SFGate. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  2. ^ "Take Five With Julian Waterfall Pollack". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  3. ^ a b Ortiz, Edward. "Camellia Symphony premieres jazz artist's piano concerto". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  4. ^ Bullock, Ken. "Around & About Jazz: Julian Pollack Trio CD Release Concert at Yoshi's: Waves of Albion". Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  5. ^ a b Scheinin, Richard (August 3, 2006). "Bay Area pianist, 17, records solid jazz CD.". San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, CA). Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  6. ^ "Julian Waterfall Pollack on Piano Jazz". National Public Radio (NPR). 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  7. ^ a b c Wiegand, David. "CD: Julian Waterfall Pollack, 'Playground'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  8. ^ a b Lindsay, Bruce. "Waves of Albion". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Concert: Music for two Pianos". Greenwich House. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  10. ^ Klingsporn, Katie. "40 years of intimate chamber concerts". Telluride Daily Planet. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  11. ^ a b Bratman, David. "What Would Charles Ives Do?". San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  12. ^ "Festival Orchestra: Mendocino Music Festival". San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  13. ^ Gilbertson, Jon. "CD Reviews: Grace Weber; The Jayhawks; Terius Nash; George Strait". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  14. ^ "Grace Weber On Mountain Stage". NPR. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  15. ^ a b Post, Maureen. "Sultry sounds of Grace Weber this weekend". OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  16. ^ Gilbertson, Jon. "Local music talent tunes up". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  17. ^ a b Lorenz, Renee. "Grace Weber brings "Hope & Heart" to Milwaukee". On Milwaukee. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  18. ^ "Radiohead 'Creep' Covered By Ex-Broadway Singer Carrie Manolakos". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  19. ^ Carrie Manolakos (2012-01-01). Creep (Radiohead) - Carrie Manolakos. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  20. ^ "The Julian Waterfall Pollack Trio plus 1". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  21. ^ "Julian Waterfall Pollack: Waves of Albion". All Music. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  22. ^ "Julian Waterfall Pollack: Infinite Playground". All Music. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  23. ^ "In-Between Seasons and Places". All Music. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  24. ^ Silsbee, Kirk (2011-03-01). "Chase Baird Crossurrent". Downbeat Magazine. Elmhurst: Maher Publications. 
  25. ^ "Stories From Sugar Hill". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

External links[edit]