"...an innovative force in jazz, a pianist of the highest caliber, a creative composer and improviser, and one of those rare musicians who stretches the art form even as he honors the established traditions." AllAboutJazz
Jim Ridl is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher residing in the New York City area. He performs internationally with the Jim Ridl Trio and Quartet, the Dave Liebman Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, Ximo Tebar’s IVAM Jazz Ensemble of Spain, and the Tim Horner Quintet.
Jim’s sixth CD, Jim Ridl’s Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams, features the outstanding soloists Terell Stafford, Donald Edwards, and John Benitez in an inspired quartet setting.
Jim has 5 previously released recordings: Your Cheatin' Heart and Other Works on the Dreambox Media Label; Door In a Field (DBM); Jim Ridl Trio/Live (DBM); Blues Liberations - Solo Piano (DBM); and Five Minutes to Madness and Joy (Synergy Music).
For the fall semester of 2012, Jim was as a Visiting Jazz Artist at Princeton University where he created an inspired and successful jazz performance program specifically for 14 auditioned students.
As part of the 2010 Jazz@Lincoln Center’s Rhythm Road program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Jim toured the Asia-Pacific with the Mark Sherman/Tim Horner Quartet. The band performed and taught workshops in Russia, South Korea, China and the Philippines.
Jim’s tenure with jazz guitar legend Pat Martino received many critically acclaimed reviews of performances around the world and produced 3 outstanding recordings: Interchange, Night Wings and The Maker.
Additionally, Jim has performed and/or recorded with Randy Brecker, Marc Johnson, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Mickey Roker, Billy Hart, Mark Murphy, Ravi Coltrane, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Bill Stewart, Denis DiBlasio, Rich Matteson, Marko Marcinko, Tim Horner, Ralph Bowen, Donny McCaslin, Mark Walker, Michael Pedicin, Jean Michel Pilc, Dick and Ted Nash, Ari Hoenig, Jimmy Bruno, Tim Warfield, Terrell Stafford, Vic Juris, Paul Nash, Carla Cook, Francois Moutin, Bruce Williamson, Matt Wilson, Sherman Ferguson, Tyrone Brown,...
Commissions as a composer/arranger have included the BMI New York Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Lamont School of Music Chamber Orchestra, the Singing Patriots of Germantown Academy, the Manor Singers, the Off-Broadstreet Theatre, soprano Katja Rothfuss, and St. Andrew’s Church of Trenton.
Jim has maintained a private piano studio for over 3 decades and currently teaches adjunct jazz piano at the City College of New York. He has conducted piano master classes at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Metropolitan State College (Denver, CO), and West Chester University (West Chester, PA).
Jim was the Art Tatum Scholarship Artist in Residence at the University of Toledo (Ohio) where he taught master classes and performed solo piano concerts.
Jim was raised on a farm and ranch in North Dakota, and discovered his love for piano and jazz at an early age. He attended college at the University of Colorado at Denver, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Scoring and Arranging, and was awarded its Student Achievement Award for composing "Ocean Sojourn," an orchestral tone poem which he performed with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, James Setapen, conducting. He is listed in the Who's Who of American Colleges and Universities. In Denver, Jim began his professional career performing and touring with local and nationally-recognized musicians, including the Grammy-nominated vocal jazz group, Rare Silk.