Vibraphonist/Composer Ted Piltzecker has eclectic musical interests. He has performed at jazz and percussion festivals, and in concerts throughout the United States and around the globe. (Germany, Austria, England, China, Brazil, Norway, Nepal, India, Australia, Iceland, Turkey, The Netherlands, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Finland, and Puerto Rico). His seven albums as a leader have been critically acclaimed and influential in both the percussion and jazz worlds.
His debut album, Destinations, climbed to number eight in national jazz airplay, and his second release, Unicycle Man on the Equilibrium label (featuring Bob Mintzer, Harvie S, James Williams, and Dave Meade) remained on the Gavin Jazz Chart for months. The Victory Music Review calls it “a thoughtful recording filled with tasteful flair, the product of confident mature
musicians who are committed to the ensemble.” Jazz writer and critic, the late Nat Hentoff praised the album as “a lyrical, thoughtful, relaxing meeting of mutually appreciative improvisers whose time is timeless.” All About Jazz reports that in his solo vibraphone album, Standing Alone (a collection of standards) “fills the 43-minutes with expressive grace, maintaining interest throughout.” Muse calls it “a simultaneously technically impressive and deeply relaxing listening experience.” His release Steppe Forward has been cited as “an upbeat, joyous and uplifting album, from beginning to end” by All About Jazz, and “a nice voyage into what good jazz is all about in contemporary times” by the Jazz Review. Ted's last release entitled Brindica is a reflection of his recent four-month venture around the world. It was recorded in New York and in Buenos Aires. "Piltzecker writes and arranges tunes that draw on tango, second-line, Afro-Cuban, South African, and even carnatic influences, always in an organic, fun, and respectful way. The result is a stylistic kaleidoscope of an album that reveals new combinations of rhythm and harmony at every turn and always sparkes with wit and good humor." CDHotList
His current album Vibes On A Breath, a septet with four horns, vibes, bass, and drums, was release on August 18, 2023. Only out a few days as of this writing, reviews have been extremely positive and airplay is rising quickly. “The intimacy of the approach along with the addition of bass clarinet and flugelhorn doubles adds an extra layer of richness and color to the already mesmerizing arrangements. Piltzecker's work transports to an alluring musical world where every note is infused with a personal touch”. JAZZ WEEKLY.
Ted has performed with many of the great names in jazz in New York (guitarists Jack Wilkins, Gene Burtoncini and Vic Juris, bassists Mike Richmond, Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman, drummers Lewis Nash, Dennis Mackrel, and Clarence Penn, Marty Morell, pianists Jim McNeeley, John Hicks, Donald Vega, and BillCharlap, and with saxophonists Chris Potter, Ralph Lalama, and Javon Jackson), and while directing the jazz program at the Aspen Music Festival (Jimmy Heath, Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Mel Torme, Ernie Watts, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and many more). He has toured internationally as a member of the famed George Shearing Quintet, and has led many of his own unique ensembles including Pendulum, a duo with Canadian pianist Jim Hodgkinson. Ted’s diverse musical interests have also included tours with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, national TV spots with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen, appearances at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York with organist Dorothy Papadakos, and chamber music concerts with classical cellists, Yehuda Hanani and Julia Lichten, violinists, Ruben Gonzales and Calvin Wiersma, clarinetists Ayako Oshima and Dick Waller, harpists Nancy Allen and Emily Mitchell, bandoneónist, Hector Del Curto, table player Jagannath Dhaugoda, and gadulka player (Bulgarian violin) Nikolay Kolev.
Ted Piltzecker has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Lincoln Center Institute, and the ASCAP Foundation. His works have been aired on National Public Radio’s "Performance Today" and the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s "Arts National" and have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. As a guest of the People’s Republic of China, he premiered new works for percussion at the Conservatories in Beijing and Wuhan in the summer of 2013. In the summer of 2014 he premiered two new works, one for wind ensemble and one for jazz band at the Conservatório de Tatuí in Brazil. He is a professor emeritus of music composition at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, State University of New York where his orchestral work Precarious Indifference was premiered in 2016. A new setting for his work Tango For An Elegant Man for vibraphone, marimba and full orchestra was premiered in July 2023 in Argentina. He is a professor emeritus of composition at SUNY Purchase, and also teaches vibraphone at the Hartt School in CT.
Ted Piltzecker is a graduate of the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music. He is an active pilot and unicyclist who performs using Musser vibraphones and his signature Vic Firth mallets exclusively. Additional information, including recordings and videos, may be found at TedVibes.com.