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Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss was born on January 16, 1979, in Phoenix, Arizona.
There, he was active in community theater, both as an actor and a musical
director. He was also involved in band programs, and studied piano with Larry
Loeber. After graduating from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ezra moved to
Ohio to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
At Oberlin, Ezra studied composition with Wendell Logan and piano with Neal
Creque. During his senior year, Ezra formed the jazz sextet Blues Connotation. In
2001, he received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition and moved to
In Portland, Ezra continued to lead Blues Connotation, which later became the
Ezra Weiss Sextet. Ezra also began teaching at the Beaverton Arts and
Communication Magnet Academy, Self Enhancement Inc., the Western Oregon
University Jazz Camp, and the Northwest Children's Theater, where he musical
directed numerous productions as well.
In 2002, Ezra flew to New York City for a week to record his debut CD, The Five
A.M. Strut. Released a year later on the Umoja label, the CD features Michael
Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Kelly Roberge, Leon Lee Dorsey, and Billy Hart.
The Five A.M. Strut received great attention from the press and spent time on both
the JazzWeek and CMJ radio charts. Ezra's subsequent recordings included
Persephone (2005 Umoja) and Get Happy (2007 Roark Records). Again, both
albums received excellent reviews and radio airplay.
Ezra has composed and/or arranged music for Billy Hart, Thara Memory, Rob
Scheps Big Band, Leon Lee Dorsey, Stan Bock, and Renato Caranto, among
others. He has also performed with many great musicians including Greg Bandy,
Michael Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Thara Memory, Rob Scheps, Renato
Caranto, and Dennis Rowland. He also co-led the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz
Orchestra in New York. Additionally, Ezra won the 2002, 2006, and 2007 ASCAP
Young Jazz Composer Award.
Ezra has led bands in many of the U.S.'s greatest clubs, including Dizzy's Club
Coca-Cola, Smalls, and Tonic in New York City; Ryles in Boston; NightTown in
Cleveland; Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia; The Triple Door in Seattle; Jimmy
Mak's in Portland; and Catalina's in Los Angeles.
In 2004, Ezra moved to New York City to pursue a Masters in Jazz Piano at Queens
College. There, he studied piano with Bruce Barth and Ted Rosenthal. After
graduating, he taught for a year at Scottsdale Community College. Ezra currently
lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches at the Northwest Childrens Theater
and at Portland State University.