“A classic jazz profile in courage” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant), jazz pianist and composer Noah Baerman’s tenacity and his cutting edge yet soulful music have made him an inspiring figure to a growing legion of admirers. Over ten years after nearly walking away from the piano due to his struggles with the incurable connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Noah maintains a fierce commitment to “message music.”
Noah Baerman earned his B.Mus. and M.M. from Rutgers University in the 1990s under the mentorship of Kenny Barron. Since then he has participated in and composed for numerous recordings, including nine CDs as a bandleader. His 2003 release Patch Kit, featuring jazz legends Ron Carter and Ben Riley, raised awareness and funds for EDS and led to an invitation from Marian McPartland to be a guest on her long-running NPR program Piano Jazz. Soul Force, a tribute to the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., features soloists including trombonist Robin Eubanks, percussionist Warren Smith and saxophonist Steve Wilson. In 2008 he was awarded a “New Works” grant from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation. The resulting Know Thyself, a 65 minute suite for septet, was premiered on this stage and recorded for a 2010 release. His most recent release is 2014’s Ripples, a sweeping mission statement. The powerful music addresses causes ranging from teenagers in foster care in need of homes to disability and illness as well as more global themes of persistence, courage and non-violence.
Baerman lives in Middletown, Connecticut with his wife, visual artist Kate Ten Eyck, and he is active as an educator. He has directed the Jazz Ensemble at Wesleyan since 2007 and has taught music courses through their Graduate Liberal Studies program since 2002. His teaching concepts have been codified through ten well-regarded instructional books published by the Alfred Publishing Company.