With his hard-swinging approach and feather light touch, pianist Tamir Hendelman has emerged as one of the most intriguing jazz talents to arrive on the scene in quite some time. On top of his own trio outings as a leader, the Israeli-born artist is best known for his outstanding work with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
Hendelman first came to prominence in 2000 when he joined the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO), a long-running L.A.-based big band. With the CHJO, Tamir has recorded for John Pizzarelli, Gladys Knight and Diana Krall among others. For his own trio, the award-winning Hendelman explores standards, Brazilian music, blues and his Israeli roots. He’s released two acclaimed records as a leader, 2008’s Playground and 2010’s Destinations, the latter boasting the great Lewis Nash on drums.
Tamir’s musical path began early, studying piano from age 6 in Tel Aviv. After moving to the US in 1984, Hendelman won Yamaha’s national keyboard competition 2 years later at age 14. Concerts in Japan and the Kennedy Center followed. Tamir then studied at the Tanglewood Institute in 1988 and received a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from Eastman School of Music in 1993. He then became the youngest musical director for Lovewell Institute, a national arts education non-profit organization.
Since returning to LA in 1996, Tamir has been in steady demand as pianist and arranger, touring the US, Europe and Asia, and receiving awards from ASCAP and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. In 1999 Tamir was a guest soloist with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
Tamir joined the Jeff Hamilton Trio in 2000, contributing arrangements, recording and touring Japan, Europe and the US. A well as his work with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Hendelman also toured Europe with Tierney Sutton and the Bill Holman Big Band. Tamir musically directed Julia Migenes’s Alter Ego and played/arranged on Roberta Gambarini’s Easy to Love. He is also featured on Natalie Cole’s Still Unforgettable and Barbara Streisand’s Love Is the Answer and One Night Only (Live at the Village Vanguard).
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