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Geri Allen (June 12, 1957 – June 27, 2017) was an American jazz pianist and composer.[1][2]

Geri Allen
Allen in 2008
Background information
Born (1957-06-12)June 12, 1957
Pontiac, Michigan, U.S.
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died June 27, 2017(2017-06-27) (aged 60)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Genres Jazz, post-bop, blues music, funk, gospel
Occupation(s) Musician
Record producer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1982–2017
Labels Motema Music
Blue Note
Associated acts Timeline
Geri Allen with Trio 3.

Allen was an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh.


Early life and careerEdit

Allen was born in Pontiac, Michigan and educated in the Detroit Public Schools.[3]

Later life and careerEdit

In 2006, Allen was commissioned to compose "For the Healing of the Nations", a Sacred Jazz Suite for Voices, written in tribute to the victims, survivors and their families of the September 11 attacks. The suite was performed by Howard University's Afro-Blue Jazz Choir, under the direction of Connaitre Miller.

Allen had been a longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey[4] before moving to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 2012 after being offered the position of Director of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Allen died on June 27, 2017, two weeks after her 60th birthday, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after suffering from cancer.[5]


As leader/co-leaderEdit

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1984 The Printmakers Minor Music Anthony Cox, Andrew Cyrille
1985 Home Grown Minor Music Solo piano
1986 Open on All Sides in the Middle Minor Music Racy Biggs, Robin Eubanks, David McMurray, Steve Coleman, Jaribu Shahid, Tani Tabbal, Shahita Nurallah, Marcus Belgrave, Mino Cinelu, Lloyd Storey
1989 Twylight Minor Music Jaribu Shahid, Tani Tabbal, Sadiq Bey, Eli Fountain, Clarice Taylor Bell
1989 In the Year of the Dragon JMT Charlie Haden, Paul Motian
1989 Segments DIW Charlie Haden, Paul Motian
1990 The Nurturer Blue Note Marcus Belgrave, Kenny Garrett, Robert Hurst, Eli Fountain
1990 Live at the Village Vanguard DIW Charlie Haden, Paul Motian
1992 Maroons Blue Note Marcus Belgrave, Wallace Roney, Anthony Cox, Dwayne Dolphin, Pheeroan akLaff, Tani Tabbal
1994 Twenty One Blue Note Ron Carter, Tony Williams
1995–96 Eyes in the Back of Your Head Blue Note Wallace Roney, Ornette Coleman, Cyro Baptista
1996 Some Aspects of Water Storyville Henrik Bolberg Pedersen, Johnny Coles, Kjeld Ipsen, Axel Windfeld, Michael Hove, Uffe Markussen, Palle Danielsson, Lenny White
1998 The Gathering Verve Wallace Roney, Robin Eubanks, Dwight Andrews, Vernon Reid, Ralphe Armstrong, Buster Williams, Lenny White, Mino Cinelu
2004 The Life of a Song Telarc Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette
2006 Timeless Portraits and Dreams Telarc Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb with Wallace Roney, Donald Walden, Carmen Lundy, George Shirley, and The Atlanta Jazz Chorus directed by Dwight Andrews
2010 Flying Toward the Sound Motéma Solo piano
2010 Geri Allen & Timeline Live Motéma Kenny Davis, Kassa Overall, Maurice Chestnut
2011 A Child Is Born Motéma Solo keyboards with vocalists
2012 Grand River Crossings Motéma "Motown & Motor City Inspirations", solo piano featuring Marcus Belgrave, David McMurray

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lars Helgert ([s.d.]). Allen, Geri. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Accessed July 2017. (subscription required).
  2. ^ Mark Gilbert, Gary W. Kennedy ([s.d.]). Allen, Geri. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, second edition. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Accessed July 2017. (subscription required).
  3. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 8. ISBN 0-141-00646-3. 
  4. ^ Staudter, Thomas. "Making Jazz and Family, Home and the Road Work Together", The New York Times, September 9, 2001. Accessed September 18, 2017. "Her luggage already packed for a late afternoon flight to San Francisco, Geri Allen, a jazz pianist, still had several precious hours remaining before her departure out of Newark, so she was filling the morning in the company of three children, ages 3 to 11. Ms. Allen's husband, Wallace Roney, a trumpeter, had returned home after midnight from an evening rehearsal at Carnegie Hall, and to respect his need to sleep, mother and children romped in the yard until growling stomachs sent them back inside to the breakfast table.... Ms. Allen and Mr. Roney have lived in their three-story frame house in Montclair, a short trip from Manhattan, since 1991." Geri Allen and Wallace Roney were divorced in 2008.
  5. ^ Adlet, David R. (27 June 2017). "Geri Allen, Brilliantly Expressive Pianist, Composer and Educator, Dies at 60". WGBO. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 

External linksEdit