Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success as a group leader and a solo performer in jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music. His improvisations draw from the traditions of jazz and other genres, especially Western classical music, gospel, blues, and ethnic folk music.
In 2003, Jarrett received the Polar Music Prize, the first (and to this day only) recipient of both the contemporary and classical musician prizes,and in 2004 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. His album The Köln Concert (1975) became the best-selling piano recording in history.
In 2008, he was inducted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame in the magazine’s 73rd Annual Readers’ Poll.
Keith Jarrett was born on May 8, 1945, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to a mother of Hungarian descent and a father of either French or Scots-Irishdescent. He grew up in suburban Allentown with significant early exposure to music. Jarrett possesses absolute pitch, and he displayed prodigious musical talents as a young child. He began piano lessons just before his third birthday, and at age five he appeared on a TV talent program hosted by the swing bandleader Paul Whiteman.