Uri Caine

Uri Caine

Photo by Simon Miele
Background information
Born (1956-06-08) June 8, 1956
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Jazz, classical
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano

Uri Caine (born June 8, 1956, Philadelphia, United States) is an American classical and jazz pianist and composer.


Early years

The son of Burton Caine, a professor at Temple Law School, Caine began playing piano at seven and studied with French jazz pianist Bernard Peiffer at 12. He later studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where he came under the tutelage of George Crumb. He also gained a greater familiarity with classical music in this period and worked at clubs in Philadelphia.

Recording debut

Caine played professionally after 1981, and by 1985 had his recording debut with the Rochester-Gerald Veasley band. In the 1980s, he moved to New York City, where he continues to live. His solo recording debut was in 1992. He also appeared on a klezmer album (Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz, 1993)[1] and other recordings with modern jazz musicians Don Byron and Dave Douglas, among many others.[2]

Grammy nomination

In 2009, Uri Caine was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Classical Crossover Album. His work "The Othello Syndrome" re-imagined the Verdi opera Otello as a modern piece featuring soul singer Bunny Sigler.

Classical repertoire

Caine, who has recorded 16 albums, is celebrated for his eclectic and inventive interpretations of the classical repertoire. His 1997 jazz tribute to Gustav Mahler received an award from the German Mahler Society, while outraging some jury members.[3] Caine has also reworked Bach's Goldberg Variations, Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, as well as music by Wagner, Schumann and Mozart.

The Bedrock Project and other collaborations

In 2001, he teamed up with drummer Zach Danziger to conceive an original project fusing live jungle and drum 'n' bass beats with fusion jazz called "Uri Caine Bedrock 3". They have toured worldwide, including with the New York-based DJ Olive.

Also in 2001, he released with drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots and Christian McBride an album called The Philadelphia Experiment which contains jazz, funk, instrumental hip hop and jazz fusion. This album was produced by Aaron Levinson and features collaborations such as Pat Martino on guitar and Jon Swana on trumpet.

In 2005, Caine was named Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra through the 2008–2009 season.

In 2006, he recorded an album of composition from John Zorn's second Masada book called Moloch: Book of Angels Volume 6.

On 28 February 2008 he was special guest of the Italian jazz awards red carpet show in Genoa (Italy) at Teatro della Tosse.[4]

In 2010, he was named a United States Artists Fellow and awarded an unrestricted grant.[5]

In November 2012, Caine collaborated with drummer Han Bennink to release a live album entitled Sonic Boom.[6]

In 2013, Caine was named Composer-in-Residence at Mannes College for the 2013–2014 academic year.


As leader/co-leader

As sideman

With Dave Douglas

With Frank London

With Zohar

With John Zorn


  1. http://www.allmusic.com/album/plays-the-music-of-mickey-katz-mw0000096709/credits
  2. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/uri-caine-mn0000303136/credits
  3. Zwerin, Mike (23 May 2002). "Uri Caine: Interpretive Musicologist". Culturekiosque. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  4. "Archivio". Archivio.lastampa.it. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  5. Archived November 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. "Jazz Pianist and Composer". Uri Caine. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
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