John Medeski

Anthony John Medeski (born 28 June 1965) is an American jazz keyboards player and composer. He plays the acoustic piano and an eclectic array of keyboards, including the Hammond B3 organ, melodica, mellotron, clavinet, ARP String Ensemble, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Moog Voyager Synthesizer, Wurlitzer 7300 Combo Organ, and Yamaha CS-1 Synthesizer (a "kids' toy"), among others. When playing acoustic piano, Mr. Medeski plays the Steinway & Sons piano exclusively and is listed as a Steinway artist.


Medeski was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and grew up in Florida. After studying piano as a child (starting when he was five years old), he began as a teenager to perform with musicians such as Mark Murphy and Jaco Pastorius. He attended Pine Crest School. In 1983, after graduating high school, he began studying piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he performed as a sideman with Dewey Redman, Billy Higgins, Bob Mintzer, Alan Dawson, and Mr. Jellybelly. He also played the organ on two tracks of the Morphine album The Night.

Medeski performs in a range of musical styles, from accessible groove based funk and jazz (such as the MMW albums and A Go Go with John Scofield) to more experimental music (such as John Zorn's Masada and Medeski's collaboration with David Fiuczynski, Lunar Crush).

Medeski is best known for his work with Medeski Martin & Wood, often abbreviated MMW, with drummer and percussionist Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood. The trio formed in New York in 1991 and have been internationally successful in funk, jazz, and jam music scenes. The band has collaborated with such musicians as Trey Anastasio and John Scofield.

Medeski produced and played on the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's 1999 release Buckjump.

In 2000, Medeski became a member of The Word, a bluesy gospel style project with members Robert Randolph (pedal steel) from Robert Randolph and the Family Band, brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar) and Cody Dickinson (drums), and Chris Chew (bass) of North Mississippi Allstars. The band released a self-titled album in 2001 and toured in 2001 and 2002. The band reunited in 2005 for a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, and they embarked on tour again in late 2007.

During the Trey Anastasio Band 2001–2002 tour, Medeski filled in for keyboardist Ray Paczkowski. Medeski has also occasionally performed with Phil Lesh and Friends.

Medeski was a guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz radio program on September 27, 2005. During the show he talked at length about his formal training on the piano, his approach to playing music, and some of the musicians that he admires the most. He performed several songs by Thelonious Monk and other composers, as well as the Medeski, Martin & Wood classic "Bubblehouse". The show was released on compact disc on April 4, 2006.

On July 14, 2006, John Medeski & The Itch performed their debut gig at the All Good Music Festival in Masontown, WV. The Itch consists of Eric Krasno (guitar) of Soulive and Adam Deitch (drums) with Medeski playing a B3 Organ.

Medeski performed with The Million Dollar Bashers for the recording of the soundtrack to the Bob Dylan biopic, I'm Not There.

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