Eric Olsen is a world-class jazz and classical pianist and organist. He specializes in elegant jazz arrangements of beautiful classical melodies by time honored composers like Chopin and Puccini. He also produces amazing, swinging arrangements of songs from the Great American Songbook, by composers like George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hart. Whether you'd like Jazz Solo Piano, Duo, Trio, Quartet or a larger group, Eric can tailor his ensemble to fit your needs. Eric only engages musical professionals. All of his musicians are punctual, easy to work with, and reliable. Eric's music is always perfect for the ambience you need. Please feel free to listen to the sound clips on this page. The trio jazz recordings are from a recent live concert at Shanghai Jazz Restaurant, a premier jazz club in New Jersey. The bassist is the great Don Miller, and the drummer is the legendary Eliot Zigmund, who played and recorded with the late jazz pianist Bill Evans.
Eric is a unique instrumentalist, with stellar credentials as both a jazz and classical artist. He recently played Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Kaohsiung Symphony in Taiwan, and has performed concerts in France, Germany, India, New Zealand, and toured the US as leader of his own jazz group. Mr. Olsen has played classical music at Carnegie Hall and St. Bartholomew's Church, and jazz music at Birdland, the Knitting Factory, 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Trumpets, and Shanghai Jazz Restaurant. He has recorded and collaborated with a wide variety of esteemed jazz and classical musicians. In the jazz world Eric has worked with Pharoan Aklaff, Gail Allen, David Baker, Amiri Baraka, Chris Bowman, Lou Caimano, Ed Cherry, Tony Cimorosi, Mike Clark, Glenn Davis, Jim Donica, Kermit Driscoll, Justin Flynn, George Garzone, Billy Hart, Patience Higgins, Tim Horner, John Isley, Steve Johns, Mike Karn, Mike Lee, B.D. Lenz, Rob Middleton, Don Miller, Earl May, Andy McKee, Peter Olsen, Eric Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Dominic Spera, and Eliot Zigmund. On the classical side he has collaborated with Kevin Maynor, James King, Stephen Oosting, Jessye Norman, and Joshua Bell.
As a recording artist Eric has many glowing reviews. Paquito D'Rivera, Grammy winning saxophonist and composer said of his CD Dyad:
"Pianist Eric Olsen is capable of going back and forth through the too often forbidden borders between Classical and Jazz with ease!"
John Gilbert of referred to his CD Story Hill this way:
"The players on this album are, without question, top notch artists, and I would recommend this CD without hesitation."
Other reviewers have referred to Eric's playing as:
"Deft and sensitive" (Florida Sun Sentinel), and
"Superb pianism" (Topeka Capital-Journal).
As a pianist and organist, Eric has played for thousands of weddings and wedding receptions. He has a vast repertoire of music for Preludes, Processionals, Bride Entrances, Interludes, Recessionals, Postludes, as well as over a thousand selections for your wedding reception, everything from jazz standards from the 20s to 40s, to light rock arrangements of newer standards by the Beatles.
Eric is available to play in these configurations:
-Solo piano or organ
-Duo (bass and piano OR guitar and piano)
-Trio (bass, piano, drums)
-Quartet (horn, bass, piano, drums)
-Quintet (2 horns, bass, piano, drums)