01.12.12Happy New Year

Hello all!
I hope you've had safe and happy holidays. I'm very excited to start the new year and lead into a new year filled with exciting performances and new music!

My year begins with celebrating the release of Jon Di Fiore's first CD! We recorded the album back in June of 2011, and the album contains a ton of Jon's originals, as well an interesting arrangement of Monk's Epistrophy. Rich Perry and Joe Magnarelli are also on the album. There's some nice stuff on the album: it's definitely worth a listen. Wander over to www.jondifiore.com for more info.

My trio will be headlining the Deer Head Inn again on February 3rd. I feel blessed every time I play there: the piano is wonderful, the atmosphere is great, and the staff is filled with great people. For those who are out of the loop, the Deer Head has been a legendary gig spot for years, hosting the likes of Keith Jarrett, Stan Getz, Al Cohn, Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, Bob Dorough, and numerous other legends. We'll be playing from 7 to 11 that night. I've been doing a lot of writing and arranging for the trio, so I'm excited to share a ton of new music with everyone!

In other news, I was recently involved with a film project for composer Kevin Norton and director Yunah Hong. I performed most of the piano work on the film score. We recently learned that the final product, the film Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words will be shown on PBS sometime this year. I'll keep you all updated!

I hope you're all enjoying happy and healthy new years, and I hope to see you at some performances this year!
Best Wishes,
Billy Test

03.11.11Deer Head Inn, Competitions, and More

Hello all!
I hope this month is keeping all of you safe from the flooding and crazy weather we've been having. This year has proved to be an exciting one, with lots of new performances and opportunities to share.

I will be leading my trio at the Deer Head Inn on March 18, from 7-11 PM. The Deer Head is a legendary room that has housed performances by some of my favorite musicians: Fred Hersch, Keith Jarrett, Dave Liebman, Bob Dorough... I could list names forever, but I think you get the point. I've written a ton of new music for the event, and the trio sounding pretty darn good. I'm looking forward to a night of music in one of my favorite venues, and hopefully seeing some familiar faces as well.

The following day I will be participating in the Pearl and Julius Young Music Competition. Festivities will run from about noon to 3 PM at Dolan Hall on the campus of The College of Saint Elizabeth. There are a total of 14 people competing, and there will be 5 prize winners. Exciting stuff!

In other news, I will be performing a movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto with the William Paterson Orchestra on March 30. The brand new orchestra is starting to get a nice groove going, and I'm excited to see how the performance works out.

I've been performing frequently at Terra Blues in NYC with Jr. Mack and the Pioneers, a legitimate Blues Band steeped deeply in the blues tradition. The Pioneers were led by blues legend Moe Holmes until his passing. The gig is a ton of fun and the music is really great... if you're in NYC on a Sunday night, try to come out and check them out! It's a great time...

I hope that you're all well, and I hope to see you all in the near future!
Best Wishes,
Billy Test

12.13.09SOLO CONCERT JANUARY 2010

Hello all!!
This semester has brought some wonderful opportunities, as I'm gearing up for what looks like another exciting new year. I recently started studying with Sophia Rossoff, the piano legend who taught Fred Hersch, Barry Harris, Brad Mehldau, Ethan Iverson, and Aaron Parks classical piano, and the experience has been amazing. In 2010 I'm looking forward to lots of exciting opportunities--hopefully some competing, some workshops in the summer, and I'm hearing rumors of a possible midwest/south tour with a trio that I'm currently working with as a sideman. I'm looking forward to continuing my studies at William Paterson University, as well as my studies with Fred Hersch and Marc Mommaas in NYC!!

I have a few exciting (for me, anyway!) gigs coming up. On January 10 at 2 PM I will be performing at the State Theatre as a solo piano gig. I've always had a special love for solo jazz piano, and I've spent so much time researching and exploring all of the possibilities of it lately that I've decided to embrace the whole art form. I'll be playing a lot of different stuff--I'm currently working composing a solo jazz piano suite special for the occasion, so we'll see how that goes! Either way, it will be nice to play some music in the cozy atmosphere in the performance space: I always figured a solo piano concert there would be perfect! From here on out, I'm going to have more solo piano concerts popping up, so I hope to see some familiar faces popping up once in a while.

In other news, I'll be performing my first classical recital in almost three years in February. I'll be playing repertoire from Debussy, Beethoven, Schumann (who is celebrating his 200th birthday in 2010), and a Bach/Busoni work as well. Although I've grown a lot as a jazz pianist in the past three years, I think I've grown the most as a classical player. As always, it's a wonderful personal journey to make a vast variety of classical piano literature become close friends.

I hope the holiday season finds all of you healthy, happy, and surrounded by friends and loved ones. Have a safe holiday season, a happy new year, and I hope to see you all in 2010!!
All the Best,
Billy Test

06.01.09Updates on the Brink of Summer 2009

Hello to all!!!
As always, this summer provides to be a fruitful one with several new fronts opening up in my professional land. In the past fall I began teaching at TK Music, where I've picked up a decent sized, ever growing studio of talented students who have made me learn much about myself as a musician and person. Further professional gains have encouraged me to finally take the leap and move to New Jersey as a semi-permanent resident. This summer I will be accompanying the prestigious Jazzmobile Vocal Competition through auditions, having the opportunity to perform in front of judges Nancy Morano and Carla Cook, among other prestigious jazz vocalists. August will find me participating in the Hudson Jazz Workshop under the direction of Armen Donelian and Marc Mommaas: the workshop selects ten students from an audition pool, so I'm thrilled to be participating in it! Otherwise, I'm here in my new apartment practicing my tail off, taking lessons with Fred Hersch, and doing some much needed relaxation time. Please check out my list of gigs--I hope to see you at some of them!
Best Wishes,
Billy Test

12.17.08December 2008 Updates

I'm finally taking the time to update my website, almost six months or so since I've sat down with honest intentions of fixing things up. Now you can hear some new compositions of mine, as well as a few retakes of standards and some of my ensembles here at William Paterson University (soon, if they're not up when you read this!). This semester has been a fruitful one, with performances with Steve LaSpina and Phil Woods, among a week and a half visit to China filled with performances, masterclasses, and teaching gigs.

I hope everyone is well, and I hope to see you at the gigs!
Best Wishes,
Billy Test

04.25.08Nanjing Institute, October 2008

Hello all!
To keep you posted with things, I recently found out that I have been honored with the opportunity to travel to China with a student combo from WPUNJ. We will be spending a week at the Nanjing Institute, performing and teaching jazz music. I will also be performing some American Classical repertoire (most likely the Gershwin preludes). I'll keep you all posted as this exciting story unfolds more!

I've posted several new dates for over the summer. If you have any questions about directions, times, etc. shoot me an email--I hope to see you all soon!
Best Wishes,
Billy

01.17.08New Website, and Where to Find Recordings of Me!!!

Hello, and Welcome!!!
Long overdue, I finally broke down and started up a website. As I figure out all of the different tools and things on here, it will get much hipper as time goes on. Feel free to give me suggestions, hints, or just say hello if you haven't done so for a while!!

In the meanwhile, until I get everything up and running the way I want, some of you may be interested in where you can find a recording of me. As plans for a solo CD have been talked about, nothing legit has happened yet. Nonetheless, you can find an early recording of me at the URL posted above on th Valley Jazz Orchestra's Free Food. This would have been released the summer of 2006, with the recording done mid-November 2005. I've grown a lot musically since then, but it's still me on the keyboard.

As we're still in the starts of a new year, I wish all of you a new year, and I hope to see you at gigs!!!
Best Wishes,
Billy

01.17.08Audio

Hello again!
The posted audio is from a demo that Bill Thoman and I did towards the end of September. The first chance I get, I plan on doing some recording with a trio of some of my original tunes and paste them on here. For now, these recordings aren't of high quality and not entirely professional, but they'll do!

Enjoy!
Billy