Pianist Noah Haidu has arrived as an important new voice in jazz. He is both adventurous and soulful, a daring improviser and a state-of-the-art songwriter. Jazzwise described Noah as “Unquestionably one of the most confident and impressive of all the new pianists.” All About Jazz said simply “the cat can play his butt off.” He was named a ‘Rising Star’ by both Downbeat Magazine and JazzTimes, while New York Times writer Giovanni Russonello described him as “A performer with focus and vision.” Noah’s latest recording INFINITE DISTANCES (Cellar Live Records, 2017) was named one of Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of 2017.”
Downbeat published two articles about Noah in 2017: a rare 4½ star review of the record hailing Noah as an “innovative composer” and a separate article about Haidu entitled Subversive Soul which called the recording “a sumptuous record which swings and grooves with far out moments.” Reviews and radio play around the country and abroad echo these accolades: Rochester City News Paper noted the “superb solos at every turn” while Hot House characterized the project as “an ambitious and highly successful showcase for Noah’s piano, compositions, and ensemble conception.” Noah’s CD release show at Birdland sold out in advance while INFINITE DISTANCES surged into the top 50 radio charts.
Each of Noah’s recordings has made a distinctive statement on the jazz landscape: In 2011 his powerful Posi-Tone Records debut SLIPSTREAM featured two important artists on the jazz scene, and the collaboration was described in JazzTimes: “With jazz luminaries like trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon gracing the band…rising above their powerful performance is quite an accomplishment and Haidu does just that.” The recording garnered glowing write-ups and 8 weeks in the top 50 national jazz radio charts. Jazzwise called Noah “an important new talent,” and Downbeat called his music “beautifully wrought.” Even as tracks from SLIPSTREAM remained in heavy rotation on satellite radio and cable jazz channels Noah’s next recording MOMENTUM (Posi-Tone Records, 2013) was released.
Noah toured in support of MOMENTUM performing to packed crowds in Washington DC, New York City, Boston, and other cities. The Noah Haidu Quintet electrified audiences at the Silver Spring Jazz Festival where Noah shared the bill with Branford Marsalis. Noah’s performance was filmed and broadcast as an hour-long TV special. On the same tour Noah received a standing ovation after a sold-out concert in southern Maine. Stellar reviews continued: “Haidu’s got the talent to go places” said Bruce Lindsay in All About Jazz.
Noah’s style combines new rhythmic ideas, harmonic sophistication, spontaneity, soul, and swing into his own unique approach. He first gained the attention of the jazz world through live appearances and recordings with heavyweights such as Mike Stern, Ambrose Akinmusire, Benny Golson, Jeremy Pelt, Jon Irabagon, Vincent Herring, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, Duane Eubanks, and Winard Harper. He has played at the top venues in New York and abroad including The Blue Note, Birdland, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Noah began classical piano lessons in Urbana, Illinois at age 6 at the request of his mother. Noah’s was initially inspired by his uncle, concert pianist Ian Hobson. Meanwhile the young pianist developed a fascination with blues and R&B. His high school years were spent in New Jersey and Los Angeles, where he was increasingly drawn to jazz and blues piano. His father, an avid music fan, took him to concerts, lessons, band rehearsals and his first jazz shows. Later, Noah studied with pianist Kenny Barron at Rutgers University. Inspired by Kenny, Noah sat in at jazz clubs in Barron’s hometown of Philadelphia several nights a week, then moved to Brooklyn, New York. His first steady gig was playing with legendary drummer Walter Perkins at The Skylark nightclub. The young pianist was soon in-demand on piano and electronic keyboards and began recording collectively with drummer Steve Johns, bassist Marcus McLaurine, and saxophonist Peter Brainin with whom he first recorded his original compositions. Performing constantly, Noah developed his distinctive voice as a pianist and composer. In addition to Barron his mentors included Bill Charlap, Bruce Barth, Barry Harris, and David Hazeltine.
Noah completed his BFA at the New School University and Master’s Degree at The State University of New York. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.