Uri Caine

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Uri Caine
Photo by Simon Miele
Photo by Simon Miele
Background information
Born (1956-06-08) 8 June 1956 (age 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresJazz, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, composer

Uri Caine (born June 8, 1956, Philadelphia, United States) is an American classical and jazz pianist and composer.


Early years[edit]

The son of Burton Caine, a professor at Temple Law School,[1] and poet Shulamith Wechter Caine,[2] Caine began playing piano at seven and studied with French jazz pianist Bernard Peiffer at 12.[3] He later studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where he came under the tutelage of George Crumb. He also gained a greater familiarity with classical music in this period and worked at clubs in Philadelphia.

Caine played professionally after 1981, and by 1985 had his recording debut with the Rochester-Gerald Veasley band. In the 1980s, he moved to New York City, where he continues to live. His solo recording debut was in 1992. He also appeared on a klezmer album (Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz, 1993)[4] and other recordings with modern jazz musicians Don Byron and Dave Douglas, among many others.[5]

Later years[edit]

Caine has recorded 16 mostly classical albums. His 1997 jazz tribute to Gustav Mahler received an award from the German Mahler Society, while outraging some jury members.[6][7] Caine has also reworked Bach's Goldberg Variations, Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, as well as music by Wagner, Schumann and Mozart.

He was Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 2005-2009. He became a United States Artists Fellow in 2010.[8]

In 2012 he performed with the Armenian State Chamber Orchestra in Yerevan, Armenia,[9] and, in 2013-2014, was Composer-in-Residence at Mannes College.

The Bedrock Project and other collaborations[edit]

In 2001, he teamed up with drummer Zach Danziger to conceive an original project fusing live jungle and drum 'n' bass beats with fusion jazz called "Uri Caine Bedrock 3". They have toured worldwide, including with the New York-based DJ Olive.

Also in 2001, he released with drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots and Christian McBride an album called The Philadelphia Experiment which contains jazz, funk, instrumental hip hop and jazz fusion. This album was produced by Aaron Levinson and features collaborations such as Pat Martino on guitar and Jon Swana on trumpet.

In 2006, he recorded an album of composition from John Zorn's second Masada book called Moloch: Book of Angels Volume 6. In November 2012, Caine collaborated with drummer Han Bennink to release a live album entitled Sonic Boom.[10] In 2008 he was special guest of the Italian jazz awards red carpet show in Genoa (Italy) at Teatro della Tosse.[11]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1992 Sphere Music JMT With Anthony Cox and Kenny Davis (bass; separately), Ralph Peterson, Jr., (drums), Graham Haynes (cornet), Don Byron (clarinet), Gary Thomas (tenor sax)
1995 Toys JMT With Dave Douglas (trumpet), Don Byron (bass clarinet), Josh Roseman (trombone), Gary Thomas (tenor sax, flute), Dave Holland (bass), Ralph Peterson, Jr. (drums), Don Alias (percussion)
1996 Urlicht / Primal Light Winter & Winter With Dave Douglas (trumpet), Josh Roseman (trombone), Dave Binney (soprano sax), Don Byron (clarinet), Mark Feldman (violin), Larry Gold (cello), Danny Blume (guitar, electronics), DJ Olive (turntables), Michael Formanek (bass), Joey Baron (drums), Aaron Bensoussan (hand drum, cantor), Arto Lindsay and Dean Bowman (vocals)
1997 Wagner e Venezia Winter & Winter With Dominic Cortese (accordion), Mark Feldman and Joyce Hammann (violin), Erik Friedlander (cello), Drew Gress (bass)
1997 Blue Wail Winter & Winter Trio, with James Genus (bass), Ralph Peterson, Jr. (drums)
1998 Gustav Mahler in Toblach Winter & Winter With Ralph Alessi (trumpet), David Binney (alto sax), Mark Feldman (violin), Aaron Bensoussan (oud, vocals), DJ Olive (turntables, electronics), Michael Formanek (bass), Jim Black (drums)
1999 The Sidewalks of New York: Tin Pan Alley Winter & Winter Bob DeBellis (flute), Ralph Alessi and Dave Douglas (trumpet; separately), Josh Roseman (trombone), Bob Stewart (tuba), Don Byron (clarinet), Dominic Cortese (accordion, vocals), Mark Feldman (violin), Eddy Davis (banjo), James Genus (bass), Ben Perowsky (drums), various vocalists
1999–2000 The Goldberg Variations Winter & Winter With various
2000 Love Fugue: Robert Schumann Winter & Winter With David Gilmore (guitar), Stefano Barneschi (violin), Marco Bianchi (viola), Paolo Beschi (cello), Federica Valli (fortepiano), David Moss and Mark Ledford (vocals; separately), Julie Patton and Shulamith Wechter Caine (recitation; separately) Mariko Takahashi (narration)
2000 The Philadelphia Experiment Ropeadope With Christian McBride (electric bass, acoustic bass), Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (drums); Pat Martino (electric guitar), John Swana (trumpet), Larry Gold (cello) added on some tracks
2000 Solitaire Winter & Winter Solo piano
2001 Bedrock 3 Winter & Winter With Tim Lefebvre (bass), Zach Danziger (drums); DJ Logic (turntables), Jessie System and Pete Davenport (vocals) added on some tracks
2001 Rio Winter & Winter With various
2002 Diabelli Variations Winter & Winter With Concerto Köln
2003 Gustav Mahler: Dark Flame Winter & Winter With various
2003 Live at the Village Vanguard Winter & Winter Trio, with Drew Gress (bass), Ben Perowsky (drums); in concert
2005 Shelf-Life Winter & Winter As Bedrock; trio, with Tim Lefebvre (bass, guitar), Zach Danziger (drums, percussion); various guests added on some tracks
2005 Things Blue Note Duo, with Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn, effects)
2006 Uri Caine Ensemble Plays Mozart Winter & Winter With Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Chris Speed (clarinet), Joyce Hammann (violin), Nguyên Lê (guitar), DJ Olive (turntables), Drew Gress (double bass), Jim Black (drums)
2006 Moloch: Book of Angels Volume 6 Tzadik Solo piano
2007? The Classical Variations Winter & Winter
2007? Pure Affection Alessa Duo, co-led with Gust Tsilis
2008 The Othello Syndrome Winter & Winter With Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Achille Succi and Chris Speed (clarinet), Joyce Hammann (violin), Nguyên Lê (guitar), Tim Lefebvre (bass, electric bass), John Hebert (bass), Jim Black and Zach Danziger (drums), Bruno Fabrizio Sorba and Stefano Bassanese (electronics), Bunny Sigler, Dhafer Youssef, Josefine Lindstrand, Julie Patton, Marco Paolini and Sadiq Bey (vocals)
2008 Secrets Tzadik Quartet, co-led with Mark Feldman (violin), Greg Cohen (bass), Joey Baron (drums)
2009? Think Blue Note with Paolo Fresu & Alborada String Quartet
2009 Plastic Temptation Winter & Winter As Bedrock, with Tim Lefebvre (bass, guitar), Zach Danziger (drums), Elizabeth Pupo-Walker (percussion), Barbara Walker (vocals)
2010? Twelve Caprices Winter & Winter with Arditti String Quartet
2010 Sonic Boom 816 Duo, co-led with Han Bennink (drums); in concert
2011? Siren Winter & Winter Trio, with John Hébert (bass), Ben Perowsky (drums)
2012 Rhapsody in Blue Winter & Winter With Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Jim Black (drums), Theo Bleckmann (vocals), Joyce Hammann (violin), Mark Helias (bass), Chris Speed (clarinet, tenor sax), Barbara Walker (vocals)
2012 Callithump Winter & Winter Solo piano
2013 Present Joys Greenleaf Duo, co-led with Dave Douglas (trumpet)
2017? Two Minuettos Tŭk Duo, co-led with Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn, effects)

As sideman[edit]

With Don Byron

With Dave Douglas

With Forma Antiqva

  • Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Winter & Winter, 2011)

With Frank London

  • Nigunim (Tzadik, 1998)

With Zohar

With John Zorn


  1. ^ Stearns, David Patrick. "Composer Uri Caine finding new Philadelphia roots." Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Inquirer, July 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Jelkin. "The Gospel According to Uri Caine." Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Jewish Exponent, July 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Chinen, Nate. "Raising Caine," in The Pennsylvania Gazette, January/February 2001. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania.
  4. ^ "Plays the Music of Mickey Katz - Don Byron | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  5. ^ "Uri Caine | Credits". AllMusic. 1956-06-08. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  6. ^ Zwerin, Mike (23 May 2002). "Uri Caine: Interpretive Musicologist". Culturekiosque. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  7. ^ burnham, wil gerken, nathan hendler, doug floyd, amy. "Music: Caine Mutinies (The Boston Phoenix . 10-12-98)". weeklywire.com. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  8. ^ [1] Archived November 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Famous American pianist to perform in Yerevan." Yerevan, Armenia: Armenpress, June 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "Jazz Pianist and Composer". Uri Caine. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  11. ^ "Archivio". Archivio.lastampa.it. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-23.

External links[edit]