Jazz pianist Randy Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. As a Steinway Artist, Randy Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano. Lynn Darroch of The Oregonian states, “Porter has built a reputation as a musician’s musician, a knowledgeable, inventive, and sophisticated player with a remarkable sense of time and gorgeous keyboard facility…”

Randy Porter has performed with many jazz greats, including Freddy Hubbard, Art Farmer, and Benny Golson. He has also performed with the Charles McPherson Quartet throughout the US and in France, Italy, Greece, and China. The Charles McPherson Quartet has re-created the music from the classic recording Charlie Parker with Strings, performing with many orchestras nationwide. Porter has also toured with Diane Schuur and Bobby Caldwell, conducting the Jazz Orchestra for their “Sing in Swing” tour.

Randy Porter has toured Europe with bassist David Friesen and has performed on several recordings with Friesen. Friesen’s 2001 Trio CD, Name of a Woman, received 4 stars from Downbeat in June of 2002 and featured Porter as pianist and composer. Porter has also recorded, performed, and toured worldwide with singer Gino Vannelli; Porter’s pianistic contributions can be heard on Vannelli’s CD’s, Yonder Tree, Slow Love and Canto.

Musical highlights include performing at Kimball’s with Art Farmer and Clifford Jordan, Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center with Diane Schuur, Seattle’s Jazz Alley with New York Voices, Yoshi’s in San Francisco with Karrin Allyson and Rebecca Kilgore, The House of Blues in Chicago and BB King’s Blues Club in NYC with Gino Vannelli, the Monterey Jazz Festival with Madeline Eastman, the Chicago and Detroit Jazz Festivals with Charles McPherson.

Porter’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on his own recordings: Thirsty Soul, with John Wiitala on bass and Reinhardt Melz and Todd Strait on drums; Brio, also featuring John Wiitala and Reinhardt Melz; Modern Reflections with Nancy King on vocals, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Mel Brown on drums; and Eight Little Feet with Bob Magnusson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. Samples of Porter’s writing and playing can be found on Apple’s iLife jingles. Porter also composed the music for the 2009 documentary, Deep Green.

Porter has been a performer and educator at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival for many years where he has coached many young jazz musicians. He has also worked several years at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West with singer Madeline Eastman. Porter teaches master classes and adjudicates student combos and bands at highschool and college jazz festivals. Currently, Porter teaches jazz piano at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

What The Critics Say

“. . . Porter’s superb technical facility allows him to weave tricky meters and clever cross-rhythms into a spirited, organic whole that emerges simply as beautiful music. “

- Lynn Darroch, The Oregonian 7/08

“…Randy Porter, an exceptional pianist whose grace and grit should win him many new friends. Listen!”

– Chuck Berg

“(Randy Porter is). . . possessed of a fabulous technical command of his instrument, which in his case manifests itself not so much in rapid and glitzy runs as in subtler pianistic virtues: gorgeous touch, remarkable independence of left and right hands, and seemingly effortless execution of his harmonically rich musical outpourings.”

– Glen Good

“The phrase that hooked me comes at the hands of pianist Randy Porter… As a soloist, Porter is soulful and intelligent.”

– Jason West

“I’m impressed with Randy’s great confidence, a confidence that allows the music to breathe deeply.”

– Chuck Berg

Downbeat; Jazz Times; American Music

“…what really sets the vocals off in a whole other plane is the impressive band of musicians that (Diane) Schuur has corralled. Randy Porter (pianist) and Dan Balmer (guitar) provide the perfect backdrop, one that highlights Schuur’s vocals at all the right times while not overtaking the most nuanced sections of “Some Other Time.”

-James McQuiston, Neufutur Magazine 2/17/2008

“Pianist Randy Porter is equally superb here (A Quiet Thing CD). He is the perfect complement and compliment to (Madeline) Eastman’s unique interpretations. His breadth of touch and dynamics mirror and enhance Eastman and never detract or distract. His harmonic range is pure Impressionistic palette. His is a consistently intelligent, cooperative approach in every manner. Porter’s accompaniment could be played alone and it would shine as a Equatorial sun.”

–Nicholas F. Mondello, All About Jazz, CD Reviews 3/8/2013

Performing Experience

Randy Porter has appeared with the following artists:

  • Charles McPherson
  • Art Farmer
  • Freddy Hubbard
  • Benny Golson
  • Clifford Jordan
  • Eddie Vinson
  • Terri Lynn Carrington
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Cleveland Chamber Orch.
  • Madeline Eastman
  • New York Voices
  • Karrin Allyson
  • Gino Vannelli
  • Maria Schneider
  • Dave Valentine
  • Joe Diorio
  • Terrell Stafford
  • Louisville Symphony
  • David Friesen
  • Leroy Vinnegar
  • Bob Magnusson
  • Joe LaBarbera
  • Eddie Daniels
  • Harold Land
  • Victor Lewis
  • Steve Wilson
  • USC Orchestra
  • Diane Schuur
  • Ingrid Jensen
  • Anita O’Day
  • Sheila Jordan
  • Nancy King
  • Stephane Grapelli
  • Arturo Sandoval
  • Oregon Symphony
  • San Diego Symphony

Awards

  • The Jazz Monsters Hall of Fame, Soka University of America, 2011
  • 4 stars in the June 2002 Downbeat for the David Friesen Trio CD, The Name of a Woman
  • Winner of the 1999 Jazziz and Newport Jazz Piano Competition
  • Member of the Steinway Concert Artists roster, beginning 1998
  • One of ten winners of the 1995 Jazziz “Keyboards on Fire” Competition
  • Finalist in the 1986 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition

Teaching Experience

Randy has adjudicated, taught master classes, and been a featured performer in college festivals, clinics, and summer workshops throughout the nation, including the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Port Townsend Jazz Workshop, Jazz Camp West, Reno Jazz Festival and others. Porter has taught jazz piano, arranging and improvisation classes at University of Nevada, Reno,96-98, University of Oregon 2000-2001, and jazz history at Lewis and Clark College 2003-2004. Porter is currently adjunct faculty at Lewis and Clark College. He conducts jazz workshops in his studio several times a year.

Selected Discography

Jazz

Gospel