Michael Eckroth, Ph.D. (Fulbright Fellow 2023-24)
Assistant Professor of Music, Jazz Piano
Office Location: WPAC147B
Michael Eckroth, pianist and keyboardist, is an active performer in New York and worldwide, having worked extensively with musicians such as jazz icons John Scofield, Ron McClure, Eliot Zigmund and Paul McCandless. Equally at home in jazz and Latin-American music forms, Michael received a grammy nomination for his work on the 2018 Cuban music album Orquesta Akokan, which received rave reviews on outlets such as NPR and France’s FIP. He is also a recipient of a PhD from New York University and a former music professor at Dartmouth College.
Throughout a varied career which covers musical styles from jazz, R&B, pop, salsa, Cuban music, and American and world music in general, Michael has shared the stage with performers with as varied pedigrees as pop icon Sheena Easton and jazz legend Scofield. In an over 15 year stint as a New York-based musician, Michael performed on local stages everywhere from major jazz clubs like Blue Note, Birdland, and Smalls to larger NYC venues such as Lincoln Center’s summer stage and Joe’s Pub. On the international stage, Michael has performed in venue and festival settings everywhere from the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz al Parque and Salsa al Parque in Bogotá, SFJazz, WOMAD festivals in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand- all over the United States, the Americas and Europe in concert halls, jazz clubs and outdoor events.
Michael is an avid recording artist, writer and arranger who continues to draw accolades for his work in various settings. With several solo albums to his name, he also is called upon as a collaborator who has worked on dozens of original-music albums as pianist, keyboardist, or musical director. Among the many collaborations he’s brought forward are the groups La Voz De Tres (with Jason Ennis and Natalia Bernal) and DEFtrio (with Greg Diamond), and various productions with the broadway/R&B artist Syndee Winters. He has also worked alongside grammy-awarded producer Jacob Plasse on a variety of popular and world music projects as writer and arranger. He currently records as a solo artist or collaboratively for Daptone and Truth Revolution records in NYC. His newest album as a leader, Plena will be released in September of 2021.
Michael began his piano studies in classical music at the age of four but only began to take music seriously as a vocation after being introduced to jazz improvisation in high school (Phoenix, Arizona), which soon led to a long-standing relationship with world popular music, and in particular, Brazilian and Cuban music forms. In addition to decades of experience performing and recording jazz, world music and American music in general, he completed a bachelor’s degree (University of Arizona) and master’s degree(University of Nevada) while furthering a national and international profile as a writer/pianist and becoming a family man and father of three.
“a modern renaissance musician with the kind of insights into the music that
will surprise you.” Raul DaGama, Latin Jazz Network