Jazz pianist and educator Harry Appelman has performed on concert stages on five continents. He has been chosen three times to participate in U.S. State Department music tours overseas for the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program (formerly the Jazz Ambassadors) -- to South and Central America in 2002, to Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus in February 2007 and to South Asia in March 2009. He performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in July 2009, and also played concerts and clinics in Egypt in February 2008 with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, under the direction of David Baker. Mr. Appelman has toured the United States and Canada with the Woody Herman Orchestra (under the direction of Frank Tiberi) and the Artie Shaw Orchestra (under the direction of Dick Johnson). He was a finalist in both the 1987 and 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competitions (finishing second in 1988) and one of three prizewinners in the 1989 Great American Jazz Piano Competition.
Mr. Appelman was named in Washingtonian magazine's February 2003 "Great Music" issue as one of the D.C. area's best jazz artists. He currently performs in the area at Blues Alley, the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Twins, and other popular jazz venues. Appelman has performed in small groups led by Conrad Herwig, Eddie Daniels, Gary Thomas, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Valery Ponomarev, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, Vincent Herring, Jack Wilkins and Walt Weiskopf, among others. He is a member of two Latin jazz groups -- the Duende Quartet and Afro Bop Alliance -- and has played often with Palmetto recording artists Rumba Club. He has performed in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Darren Atwater, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra with guest soloist Branford Marsalis. He has also resided and performed in Boston and New York City -- where he played with numerous creative and respected groups, ranging from trumpeter Scott Wendholt's quartet to vocalist Dakota Staton's trio.
A native of the Chicago area, Appelman began his classical music training in the first grade, later turning to the fusion and rock idioms and ultimately to jazz. After graduating with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois -- where he was honored as a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude -- he went on to earn a Master of Music degree with Distinction from the New England Conservatory. His post-graduate music studies have included work with Jim McNeely, Fred Hersch, Stanley Cowell, Tom McKinley, Sophia Rosoff and other brilliant pianist-teachers.
2006 to present: adjunct music faculty (applied music), Montgomery College, Rockville, MD.
2009 to present: adjunct music faculty, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Workshops with Afro Bop Alliance and James Cotton Quartet (VA Commission on the Arts).
Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz: "Jazz Sports DC" music coach at Fillmore Arts Center (elementary and middle school students).
Private students since 1997.
As leader or co-leader:
Harry Appelman, Balancing (Exclusive Arts, 1995). Trio with Ben Street, bass and Kenny Wollesen, drums.
"It's a rare pleasure to hear such an outstanding debut recording -- full of
first-class ideas, quiet virtuosity and subtle surprises. Bravo!"
-- Fred Hersch
Duende Quartet, Duende Quartet (2008). With Josh Schwartzman, bass and Mark Merella and Sam "Seguito" Turner, percussion.
"...delightfully inventive. " -- Mike Joyce, Washington Post
Steve Williams & Jazz Nation, With Eddie Daniels (OA2 Records, 2012).
Alan Blackman, Alone Together: 2 Piano Project, (2011).
Afro-Bop Alliance, Una Mas (2011), Camino Nuevo (2006), Encarnacion (2004).
Jon Seligman, Quintet Music (2010).
Caribbean Jazz Project/Afro-Bop Alliance, Featuring Dave Samuels (Heads Up International, 2008) - Winner of Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
L'Tanya Mari, A Teardrop Of Sun (Falconeye, 2009).
Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra, Eastern Standard Time (2008).
Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band, Words Cannot Express (OA2 Records, 2007).
Russell Kirk, Black and White (Kirkout, 2007).
John Blount, Better Days Ahead (Sea Breeze, 2007).
Tedd Baker, Mugshots (Mwai, 2006).
Lisa Moscatiello, Trouble From the Start (Machine Heart, 2005 - winner of 3 Washington Area Music Awards including Album of the Year).
The Onus (Darryl Harper), Y'All Got It (Hypnotic, 2004).
Ron Holloway & Friends, Live at Montpelier! (Jazzmont, 2003).
James Cotton, James Cotton Quartet (JamCott, 2001).
Complex Blue (Lex O'Brien), Knot the Thought that Counts (LexJazz, 2000).
John DeSalme / Steve Fidyk, Big Kids (US Roots, 1998).
Daryl Brenzel, Pentasphere (JenJazz, 1998).
Interplay (Tom Williams), First Time (Jazzscapes, 1995).