Debbie Poryes

Piano – Jazz Camp Week 2

Debbie Poryes felt the call to teach early in her career, and continues to adore helping students to understand jazz and further their own playing. Her students enjoy her sunny personality and her organized and fun approach. Currently, Debbie has a fulltime private teaching practice and leads jazz trio classes at the Jazzschool in Berkeley. Her new trio CD will be coming out later this year on Origin/OA2 Records. This is her fifth summer teaching at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Debbie plays twice-weekly at Pican Restaurant in Oakland, and at various venues with different groups. She also composes new tunes and of course, is always learning more tunes from the American Songbook for the rest of her life!

A natural born musician, Debbie took to the piano at five years old, playing show tunes and studying classical music. Hearing Monk and Miles as a teenager, she fell in love with jazz and decided to become a jazz pianist.

Debbie has played all over the San Francisco Bay Area including at Yoshi’s Jazzclub, the Berkeley Jazzschool, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and Piedmont Piano Company. The 1980s saw Debbie in The Netherlands, in tenured positions teaching jazz at conservatories in Hilversum and Arnhem. She also toured Europe, performing at clubs and in festivals in The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, England and France. While abroad, she recorded a trio LP for Timeless Records and worked as an accompanist and arranger for numerous singers. She returned to the U.S. in 1990 to get married and to raise her daughter.

Her previously-released three CDs are A Song in Jazz, a trio CD released in 2007 on the Jazzschool Records label; Catch Your Breath, a quartet CD released in 2010 on the Origin/OA2 Records label; and in April 2011 another Origin/OA2 release, Two and Fro, a duo with Bruce Williamson. All three recordings have received outstanding reviews and sold copies across the country as well as in Japan, Australia, and England. Jazz Chicago wrote, “Poryes’s playing is confident, yet playful, thoughtful, but full of life,” and All About Jazz said, “Poryes colors outside the lines and plays to challenge and compel, but never forgets to entertain.” Herb Wong, renowned jazz critic said, “Impressive, too, is how her swinging joyousness articulates every note she plays.” And All Music Guide calls Debbie’s playing, “infectious, dramatic, spirited and shimmering.” Pandora plays all three of these CDs and you can make a Debbie Poryes station.


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