Meet 22 year old pianist Keith Jarrett

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Keith Jarrett was twenty two when this was recorded in Prague in 1967, when he was a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet. Keith was a child prodigy. Jarrett possesses absolute pitch, and he displayed prodigious musical talents as a young child. He began piano lessons before his third birthday, and at age five he appeared on a TV talent program hosted by the swing bandleader Paul Whiteman. He gave his first formal piano recital at the age of seven, playing works by composers such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Saint-Saëns, and ending with two of his own compositions. Encouraged by his mother, he took classical piano lessons with a series of teachers, including Eleanor Sokoloff of the Curtis Institute.

In his teens, as a student at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Jarrett learned jazz and became proficient in it. He developed a strong interest in contemporary jazz; a Dave Brubeck performance was an early inspiration[citation. He had an offer to study classical composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, an opportunity that pleased his mother but that Jarrett, already leaning toward jazz, decided to turn down.

After his graduation from Emmaus High School in 1963, Jarrett moved from Allentown to Boston where he attended the Berklee College of Music and played cocktail piano in local clubs. After a year he moved to New York City, where he played at the Village Vanguard.

In New York, Art Blakey hired Jarrett to play with the Jazz Messengers. During a show he was noticed by Jack DeJohnette who recognized the unknown pianist’s talent and unstoppable flow of ideas. DeJohnette talked to Jarrett and recommended him to his band leader, Charles Lloyd.

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