George Colligan

George Colligan (born December 29, 1969) is an American jazz pianist, organist, drummer, trumpeter, educator, composer, and bandleader.

George Colligan
22 Festival Internacional de Jazz de Punta del Este - 180107-9296-jikatu (27808491469).jpg
Background information
Born (1969-12-29) December 29, 1969 (age 52)
New Jersey, U.S.
GenresJazz, chamber music
InstrumentsPiano, organ, drums, trumpet

Early life and educationEdit

Colligan was born in New Jersey and raised in Columbia, Maryland. He attended the Peabody Institute, majoring in classical trumpet and music education. In high school he learned to play the drums and later switched to piano. His playing is influenced by Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner.[1]


As a sideman, he has worked with Phil Woods, Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, Billy Higgins, Lee Konitz, Nicholas Payton, Steve Wilson, Richard Bona, Cassandra Wilson, Christian McBride, Buster Williams, Al Foster, Don Byron, Benny Golson, Lonnie Plaxico, and Vanessa Rubin. Colligan received a Chamber Music America Award for composition and won the Award. He has released over twenty albums as a leader and has recorded on over 100 albums as a sideman.[citation needed]

Colligan has performed at festivals all over the world, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Cancun Jazz Festival. In 2007, for the first time, he played trumpet with the trio Mr. Trumpet at the annual Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York City. He taught at the Juilliard School.[citation needed]

In September 2009, Colligan moved to Winnipeg to teach at the University of Manitoba. He taught jazz history, piano, drums, trumpet, and led master classes. He was songwriter-in-residence at Aqua Books from February to March 2011. In July 2011, Colligan moved to Portland, Oregon, to teach at Portland State University.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Colligan is married to jazz pianist Kerry Politzer.[citation needed]


As leaderEdit

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1995 Activism SteepleChase Trio, with Dwayne Burno (bass), Ralph Peterson (drums)
1997 The Newcomer SteepleChase Quartet, with Mark Turner (tenor sax), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet, flugelhorn), Dwayne Burno (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)
1997 Stomping Ground SteepleChase Trio, with Drew Gress (bass), Billy Hart (drums)
1998 Constant Source SteepleChase Quintet, with Jon Gordon (alto sax, soprano sax), Mark Turner (tenor sax), Ed Howard (bass), Howard Curtis (drums)
1998 Small Room SteepleChase Solo piano
1998 Unresolved Fresh Sound New Talent With Jon Gordon (alto sax), Mark Turner (tenor sax), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Drew Gress (bass), Howard Curtis (drums)
1999 Agent 99 SteepleChase Trio, with Doug Weiss (bass), Darren Beckett (drums)
1999 Desire Fresh Sound New Talent Quartet, with Perico Sambeat (alto sax, soprano sax, flute), Mario Rossy (bass), Marc Miralta (drums)
2000 Como La Vida Puede Ser Fresh Sound New Talent With Perico Sambeat (alto sax, soprano sax, tenor sax, palmas), Mario Rossy (bass), Marc Miralta (drums, cajón, percussion), Guillermo Magill (cajón), Antonio Serrano (harmonica), Tom Guarna (guitar)
2000 Twins SteepleChase Duo, with Jesper Bodilsen (bass)
2001 A Wish SteepleChase Duo, with Jesper Bodilsen (bass)
2001 Ultimatum Criss Cross Jazz Quartet, with Gary Thomas (tenor sax, flute), Drew Gress (bass), Ralph Peterson (drums)
2002? Return to Copenhagen SteepleChase Solo piano
2003 Past – Present – Future Criss Cross Jazz with Bill Stewart (drums)
2004 Realization Sirocco Trio, with Tom Guarna (guitar), Rodney Holmes (drums)
2006 Blood Pressure Ultimatum With Jamie Baum (flute), Meg Okura (violin), Joshua Ginsburg and Boris Kozlov (bass), Jonathan Blake, Vanderlei Pereira and E. J. Strickland (drums)
2010? Isolation SteepleChase Solo piano
2011? Living for the City SteepleChase Trio, with Josh Ginsburg (bass), E.J. Stickland (drums)
2013? The Facts SteepleChase Quartet, with Boris Kozlov, Donald Edwards, Jaleel Shaw
2013? The Endless Mysteries Origin Trio, with Larry Grenadier (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)
2014? Ask Me Tomorrow SteepleChase Trio, with Linda Oh (bass), Ted Poor (drums)
2015? Risky Notion Origin Most tracks quartet, with Nicole Glover (tenor sax, soprano sax), Joe Manis (tenor sax, alto sax), Jon Lakey (bass); some tracks quintet, with Tony Glausi (trumpet) added; Colligan plays drums
2018? Nation Divided Whirlwind Solo piano
2018? Escape Route PJCE As Other Barry; trio, with Enzo Irace (guitar), Micah Hummel (drums)

As sidemanEdit

With Lee Konitz
  • Pride (SteepleChase, 1999)

With Gary Thomas

With Noah Becker

With Buster Williams


  1. ^ Kelman, John. "George Colligan: The Endless Mysteries", All About Jazz, January 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "George Colligan Jazz Area Coordinator". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-01.

External linksEdit