Brian Lynch

A respected insider within both the hardcore straight ahead and Latin Jazz communities, 2007 Grammy Award Winner Brian Lynch is as comfortable negotiating the complexities of clave with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri as he is swinging through advanced harmony with bebop maestro Phil Woods. A honored graduate of two of the jazz world’s most distinguished academies, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, he has been a valued collaborator with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson; Latin music icons as diverse as Hector LaVoe and Lila Downs; and pop luminaries such as Prince. As a bandleader and recording artist he has released over 15 critically acclaimed CDs featuring his distinctive composing and arranging, and toured the world with various ensembles reflecting the wide sweep of his music. He currently is on the faculty at New York University as well as conducting clinics and workshops at prestigious institutions of learning the world over. His talents have been recognized by top placing in the Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls; highly rated reviews for his work in Downbeat, Jazziz and Jazz Times; 2005 and 2007 Grammy award nominations, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and Meet The Composer.
Born September 12, 1956 in Urbana, Illinois, Lynch grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he apprenticed on a high level with such local residents as pianist Buddy Montgomery; located in San Diego in 1980-81, he gained further valuable experience in the group of alto master Charles McPherson. Towards the end of 1981, Lynch moved to New York, and soon linked up with the Horace Silver Quintet (1982-1985) and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra (1982-1988). Simultaneously, he played and recorded on the Latin scene with salsa bandleader Angel Canales (1982-83) and the legendary cantante Hector LaVoe (1983-87). He began his association with Eddie Palmieri in 1987, and at the end of 1988 joined what turned out to be the final edition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He began his tenure with The Phil Woods Quintet in 1992. In 1986, Lynch recorded his first album as a leader, Peer Pressure, for Criss-Cross. Subsequent recordings as a leader led to the 1997 Spheres of Influence [Sharp Nine], which earned a 4-1/2 star Downbeat rating, and was Lynch's first project to reflect the panoramic range of interests that influence his working life as a musician. During these years he documented cross-cultural investigations with Eddie Palmieri's seminal Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet on Palmieri's Palmas, Arete and Vortex [Nonesuch and RMM]. As the '90s progressed, he steadily refined his concept, eventually collaborating with Palmieri as an arranger, co-composer and musical director. The synchronistic nature of their relationship continued in 2006-7 with a series of duo and trio concert performances, the debut of the Eddie Palmieri / Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet in Japan, and Palmieri’s culminating (and Grammy winning) collaboration with Lynch on his ambitious recording project Simpatico.
Brian's most recent CD releases as a leader include the Grammy Award winning Simpatico featuring Eddie Palmieri (ArtistShare), Spheres Of Influence Suite (EWE), ConClave (Criss Cross), and 24/7 (NagelHeyer)