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Torrey Newhart is a jazz pianist and composer born in Bend, Oregon in 1990. At the early age of four years old he picked up a violin for the first time and began piano at age six. Newhart began his career in music during his sophomore year of high school, performing gigs at local venues and stages including Bebop Biscotti Coffee House, where he got his start performing regularly in front of live audiences. It was here that Torrey first began to play with bassist Corey Adkins and drummer Adam Carlson, who currently remain members of his trio. In September, 2008 having over one hundred live performances under his belt, Newhart moved to Eugene, Oregon to attend the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance.
Upon his arrival in Eugene, Newhart quickly became immersed in a culture overflowing with music. During his freshman year, Newhart studied with pianist Toby Koenigsberg, director of jazz studies and saxophonist Steve Owen, and trumpeter Josh Deutsch. In May of 2009 Torrey was honored to perform with Deutsch in what was the first “Torrey Newhart Quintet” concert. Newhart was also fortunate to have studied with Danilo Perez during Perez’s one-week residency at the University of Oregon in 2009. Throughout his musical career, Torrey has performed in several musicals including They’re Playing Our Song, Hair, Grease and Bat Boy. In the summer of 2010 he was hired by “Cat Call Productions” to be the Musical Director for the sold-out production of Cabaret at the Tower Theatre in Bend, OR.
During his final year of undergraduate study, Newhart studied jazz composition/arranging with Paul Krueger and was honored to have one of his arrangements performed by the Oregon Jazz Ensemble with special guest artists Dan Tepfer, Jorge Roeder and Ted Poor. In June, 2012 Torrey graduated Cum Laude from the University of Oregon with a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies and Minor in Philosophy. In Fall 2012, he was awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship and returned to the University of Oregon Jazz Studies Program seeking a Masters Degree in Jazz Composition/Arranging.
Newhart has had the great privilege to perform with artists Andy Armer, Joe Freuen, Joe Manis, Paul Krueger, Steve Owen, Kevin McDonald, Ryan Biesack, Jesse Cloninger, Tyler Abbott, Dan Meinhardt, Olem Alves, Peter Brewer, Mike Denny, Kenny Feinstein, Jared Henderson, Adam Harris, Brian Hamada, Idit Schner, Sean Peterson, Justin Veloso, Eli Copeland and Carl Woideck. Through the Oregon Jazz Ensemble, Torrey was lucky enough to perform concerts with Dan Balmer, Steve Wilson, Mel Brown, Donny McCaslin, Mark Ferber and Alan Ferber.
Currently Torrey plays keyboards, piano, melodica and accordion in the bands Inner Limits and Troupe Carnivale in addition to leading his own Trio and Quintet. Newhart is also the director of a UO Jazz Lab Band and studies jazz composition/arranging with Steve Owen.
Newhart is most inspired to create music because of a connection he sees between music, philosophy and art and the unique universality that all three share with the human experience. He believes that music has the potential and power to remove people from themselves and take a step back from everyday issues in life, allowing one to reflect on and experience the manifold of human emotions. In May 2012, Newhart collaborated with an abstract artist and put on a show at the Jazz Station combining the mediums of visual art and music in an attempt to explore these concepts. Shortly following this successful event, Newhart performed his senior recital of original music and arrangements ranging from solo piano to full jazz ensemble. During this concert, he premiered an original suite entitled “The Sage Passage” of which, each movement’s title is strongly connected to a particular philosophical issue. Between the performances of each movement, Newhart explained more of the connection between philosophy and music that has been so influential to his compositional process. Newhart aspires to one day teach philosophy and music at the university level. Some of Newhart’s greatest influences have also cited philosophy as strong interests including Brad Mehldau and Dan Tepfer, although the connection between philosophy and music has not yet been heavily explored and only few dissertations exist that are solely dedicated to it. Newhart says he will have to “create the job for myself” and after all, improvisation is what inevitably led Newhart to jazz in the first place.
Torrey’s recording credits include:
The Longshots - These Parasites 2012
Kevin McDonald Fellowship - Breathe 2012
Paul Krueger Quartet - The Wayward Traveler 2011
“Most Outstanding Undergraduate Performer In Jazz” - University of Oregon 2012
“Outstanding Instrumentalist” - Reno Jazz Festival 2009/11’/12’
“Outstanding Instrumentalist” - Anaheim Music Festival 2008
“Most Outstanding Instrumentalist” - Northwest Vocal Jazz Festival 2007/08’
Inner Limits - Funk/Jazz/Rock/Fusion
Olem Alves - Band Leader, Guitar, Lead Vocals
Eli Copeland - Bass, Backup Vocals
Adam Carlson - Drums, Backup Vocals
Torrey Newhart - Keyboards, Backup Vocals
Troupe Carnivale - Folk/Country/Jazz
Jason Cowsill - Band Leader, Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar, Banjo
Jackie Jae - Band Leader, Vocals, Songwriter, Percussion
Whitney Moulton - Bass
Don Elkington - Drums, Percussion
Charlie La Mothe - Violin
Sam Hunt - Trumpet
Stephen Andresen - Guitar
Torrey Newhart Trio - Jazz/Post-Bop
Adam Carlson - Drums
Corey Adkins/Sean Peterson - Bass
Torrey Newhart Quintet - Jazz/Post-Bop
Adam Carlson - Drums
Sean Peterson - Bass
Adam Harris - Saxophone
Sam Hunt - Trumpet