About Brian Groder

Brian Groder draws on the entire jazz tradition, as well as world music influences, to create compositions critics have called "Music not only for today, but also for tomorrow," and AllAboutJazz hailed as "Music of ceaselessly fascinating possibilities."

A New York native, Groder comes by his musical abilities honestly. Both his parents were working musicians during the Swing Era. His parents were musicians and from a young age Groder played trumpet and flügelhorn. Early in his professional career he played in hotel and casino bands in Atlantic City backing visiting pop stars. For about a decade he taught in Philadelphia before moving back to New York City in the early 90s. Groder established a reputation among avant garde jazz and improvised music players, including Abstract Truth recording Curiosity on Acoustical Concepts in 1991.

The Brian Groder Ensemble's first CD, Ancestral Tongues, received special commendation from critic Andy Bartlett for the beauty of the ballads and the compelling solo work from all." Subsequent recordings, Perihelion and Incantations, drew critical praise in Europe and Japan, becoming staples on The National Radio Show in the Netherlands. Groder's preference for working with other composer/performers gives his brand of modern progressive jazz unique improvisatory richness and depth: in 2007 Brian released Torque, a CD featuring the legendary composer/performer Sam Rivers and his trio, which received a "Four Star" rating from Downbeat Magazine. 2009 saw the release of Groder & Greene, a collaboration between Brian and avante-jazz pioneer Burton Greene, called "one of the year's best" by All About Jazz. In 2013, Brian and pianist Tonino Miano released FluiDENSITY, a new-classical and jazz imprvisational hybrid, and headlined at the prestigious Timucua White House as part of the 13in13 Project. 2014 saw the recording Reflexology, a disc of Groder compositions performed by his latest trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen.

Although noted for his innovative work in free jazz, Groder is also a composer of distinction. His bands include the Brian Groder Ensemble and Double Perceptions. The last-named of these has included Rez Abbasi (guitar), Dominic Duval (bass) and Newman Taylor Baker (drums). Other musicians with whom he has worked are trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, saxophonists J.C. Feil, Michael Mee, J.D. Parran and Blaise Siwula, pianists JoAnne Brackeen (with whom he has also studied), Burton Greene, Katsuyuki Itakura, Francesca Tanksley and Ron Thomas, guitarists Kevin Kuhn and Dennis Sandole, bass players Vince Fay, Andy McKee and Craig Thomas, and drummers Jackson Krall, John McLellan and Tony Vigilante. Groder has also enjoyed a highly commendable association with veteran free jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers and the latter’s trio partners, bass player Doug Mathews and drummer Anthony Cole. Strikingly inventive, Groder plays with flair and suppleness. He has described what he plays as modern progressive music and it is constantly thought provoking and rewarding. He also operates his own label, Latham Records. In addition to his work with jazz musicians, Groder has collaborated with choreographer Cherylyn Lavergnino for whom he composed ‘Music For Dance’, a work that was premiered in New York City in 2006.

His work includes original film soundtracks and multi-media presentations, and he has received a number of awards for his composition, including two fellowships to the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, where he had the opportunity to work with Cecil Taylor and Ms. Brakeen, a Composer's Assistance Award from the American Music Center for his Suite for Dance, and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant for his Cartologia Suite.

"Equally fluent on trumpet and flugelhorn, Brian Groder is a venerated composer, trumpeter, and ensemble leader who has been cited as one of the most original jazz voices of his generation."
— Keith Hannaleck, All That Jazz


I'm in love with my horns again after Master Craftsman/Repairman, Josh Landress worked on them this Spring (the strap on the vintage leather satchel I carry them in broke, sending my precious horns crashing to the ground). They have the slots and the singing qualities back in focus, which is why I picked them out to begin with. Gigs and session works are a blast playing on my "new-old horns".

The trumpet I found in Philadelphia's Zapf's Music Store. The horn had been put aside for one of the Phil Orchestra's trumpet players, but never was picked up. After playing it, I put my money down immediately.

My "warm flugel" was buried away in the Sam Ash Hempstead NY store where my father had stopped in. He like playing the responsive horn, and reserved it for me to come in and try. Some horns just make you stop in your tracks, feeling like an extension of yourself. You buy those, no questions asked, and give thanks for finding them.

- Yamaha Xeno YTR8335RG Trumpet with reverse lead pipe, a warm & darker trumpet sound for small ensemble playing

- Bach Bb Stradivarius Trumpet Model 43H ML Bell, 25LR (reverse lead pipe) silver plated

- Couesnon-Paris Monopole Flugelhorn silver plated (circa 1974)

Bach Megatone 3C
Bach Megatone 6FL