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Department ofMusic

Jon Dryden

Jon Dryden

Jazz Piano

Jon Dryden is a pianist/keyboardist/composer currently residing in Northern California. As of August 2017, he is a lecturer on Jazz Studies at San Jose State University. He studied piano and composition under Dr. Billy Taylor, Herb Pomeroy, John Bavicchi, and Burton Hathaway, He received his Masters in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University in 2016. In 1991, Dryden moved to New York City, where he began playing with violinist Michal Urbaniak, and recorded two albums with the group Urbanator, which featured Urbaniak, Lenny White, Al MacDowell, Tom Browne, as well as special guests Kenny Garrett and the Brecker Brothers. The group went on to tour in America and Europe. He co-wrote “The Abyss” with Lenny White for White’s Renderers of Spirit‚ CD, which featured Michael Brecker, Patrice Rushen, and Victor Bailey. He toured Europe with White and tours in the United States with Regina Carter, Patti Rothberg, and Bobby Previte. He also toured Japan with Jesse Harris, Sasha Dobson, and Richard Julian.

Dryden has played or recorded with: Norah Jones, (The Little Willies) Natalie Merchant, Paula Cole, Dave Attell, Charlie Louvin, and many others. His string arrangements appear on Byrne’s “Finite=Alright‚” from the 1996 CD Feelings, and “Our Revenge” and “Chiaroscuro” from Cole’s album Harbinger. Dryden composed and performed music for the movies Capitalism: A Love Story (directed by Michael Moore), Wishful Thinking, The Hottest State, and Labor Pains. Dryden also contributed his talents to the television shows Insomniac with Dave Attell, Gulla Gulla Island, and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, as well as appearing on The Late Late Show‚with Tony-Award winner Sara Ramirez (Spamalot, Gray’s Anatomy) and The Chappelle Show with Dave Chappelle, John Mayer, and Questlove. Dryden’s songs and keyboard playing are featured on vocalist Ren Geisick’s 2017 debut CD Love Song.

Dryden is also the author of two books: Reading Lead Sheets and The Pro Keyboardist’s Handbook, both published by Alfred Music. He has composed and orchestrated hundreds of pieces, and is active as a performer throughout Northern California.