Laszlo Gardony

Laszlo Gardony (born 1956) is a Hungarian-born American jazz pianist and composer. Gardony performs as a solo artist and leads his own trio, quartet and sextet. He is also a featured sideman with several other groups.

Laszlo Gardony
Background information
Years active1980s–present
LabelsAntilles, Sunnyside


Gardony studied at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest, graduating in 1979.[1] He also holds a Masters of Education from Eötvös Loránd University.[2]

In 1983 he moved to the United States on a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music[1] in Boston. He was the first student in the school's history to be offered a teaching position upon graduation. While at Berklee, he formed the group Forward Motion with Tommy Smith, Terje Gewelt and Ian Froman.

He soon formed his first trio with Froman and Miroslav Vitous with whom he recorded The Secret[3] for Antilles Records. His second album, The Legend of Tsumi (Antilles) featured Dave Holland and Bob Moses.

In 1987, he won first prize at the The Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Since 1987 he has been on the faculty at Berklee where he is Professor of Piano.[4]

Gardony's first album for Sunnyside Records was a critically acclaimed solo piano disc, Changing Standards.[5] His next album, Breakout (Avenue Jazz Records), was released in 1994 and featured Mick Goodrick on guitar as well as George Jinda (talking drum; udu), Satoshi Takeishi (taiko drums) and Stomu Takeishi (electric bass).[6]

Gardony returned to Sunnyside in 2001 with a trio recording, Behind Open Doors which featured Jamey Haddad and John Lockwood.[7] Subsequently, Gardony has recorded four albums with bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel, his working trio of nine years: Ever Before Ever After (Sunnyside) in 2003, Natural Instinct (Sunnyside) in 2006, Dig Deep (Sunnyside) in 2008 and Signature Time (Sunnyside) in 2011 [8][9][10] Signature Time [11] also features multi-instrmentalist, vocalist, Stan Strickland on a few tracks as well as drummer Yoron Israel on the vibraphone. His 2013 recording is a solo piano album, Clarity (Sunnyside)[12] In 2015 Gardony released a live sextet album, Life in Real Time (Sunnyside) with Bill Pierce, Don Braden, Stan Strickland, Yoron Israel and John Lockwood. The album was named by the Boston Globe as one of the 10 best jazz albums of 2015 [13] His 2017 release - also on Sunnyside - is a solo piano disc titled Serious Play[14] In 2019 he released another solo piano album, "La Marseillaise" (Sunnyside).

Among other projects, he has also been involved in violinist Matt Glaser's group, The Wayfaring Strangers, a fusion of bluegrass and jazz.[15] Gardony has performed with the Wayfaring Strangers at numerous venues and festivals, including Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops, with the Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City, and at Merlefest in North Carolina. Gardony has also performed with David "Fathead" Newman at several festivals,[16] and with Eddie Gomez's Per Sempre Quintet.[17] Both Randy Brecker and Dave Liebman have performed as guest soloists with Gardony's group.[18] Gardony is featured on two Yoron Israel & High Standards albums: Visions – The Music of Stevie Wonder (Ronja, 2012) and This Moment (Ronja, 2015). He is also a featured soloist on New York-based flutist Christian Artmann's 2018 CD, "Our Story" (Sunnyside) [19] Gardony's composition, "Meeting You There" was featured on Chihiro Yamanaka's Blue Note album, "Guilty Pleasure" [20]

Critical reception

Gardony has been praised for his "fluid pianism" in The New York Times[21] and for his "uniformly high quality of compositions", harmonic complexity and emotional content which All About Jazz found to be comparable with Bill Evans'.[22] The Jazz Review described him as "a pianist worthy of praise within the highest pantheon of performers".[23] Dave Brubeck called Gardony a "great pianist".[24]


Year recorded Title Label Personnel
1988 The Secret Antilles Trio, with Miroslav Vitous (bass), Ian Froman (drums)
1989 The Legend of Tsumi Antilles Trio, with Dave Holland (bass), Bob Moses (drums)
1993 Changing Standards Sunnyside Solo piano
1994 Breakout Avenue With Mick Goodrick (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (bass), George Jinda and Satoshi Takeishi (drums, percussion)
2001 Behind Open Doors Sunnyside Trio, with Jamey Haddad (drums), John Lockwood (bass)
2003 Ever Before Ever After Sunnyside Trio, with John Lockwood (bass), Yoron Israel (drums); in concert
2006 Natural Instinct Sunnyside Trio, with John Lockwood (bass), Yoron Israel (drums)
2008 Dig Deep Sunnyside Trio, with John Lockwood (bass), Yoron Israel (drums)
2011 Signature Time Sunnyside Quartet, with John Lockwood (bass), Yoron Israel (drums, vibraharp), Stan Strickland (tenor sax, vocals)
2013 Clarity Sunnyside Solo piano
2015 Life in Real Time Sunnyside Sextet, with Stan Strickland, Don Braden and Billy Pierce (sax), John Lockwood (bass), Yoron Israel (drums)
2017 Serious Play Sunnyside Solo piano
2019 La Marseillaise Sunnyside Solo piano



  1. Yanow, Scott. "Laszlo Gardony: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  2. "Faculty Biography: Laszlo Gardony". Berklee. Retrieved 2015-08-07.
  3. Yanow, Scott. "The Secret: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  4. "Faculty Biography: Laszlo Gardony". Berklee. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  5. Yanow, Scott (August 1990). "Laszlo Gardony: Changing Standards". All Music Guide. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  6. Robinson, Greg (June 2001). "Laszlo Gardony: Behind Open Doors". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  7. Siders, Harvey (September 2003). "Laszlo Gardony: Ever Before Ever After". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  8. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff (July 2006). "Laszlo Gardony: Natural Instinct". AllAboutJazz. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
  9. Forman, Roanna (November 2008). "Laszlo Gardony: Dig Deep". Retrieved 2011-05-31.
  10. Lindsay, Bruce (2011-06-24). "Laszlo Gardony: Signature Time". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  11. Garelick, Jon (April 2013). "Laszlo Gardony: Clarity". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  12. Garelick, Jon (September 12, 2015). "The Best Jazz Albums of 2015". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  13. Bilawsky, Dan (July 2017). "Laszlo Gardony: Serious Play". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  14. Henderson, Alex. "Wayfaring Strangers: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  15. Beuttler, Bill (February 5, 2005). "Calendar Jazz Picks". Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  16. Sunnyside Records website
  17. Discogs, Japan
  18. "The Listings: Dec. 15 - Dec. 21". New York Times. 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  19. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff (2006-07-25). "CD/LP Review: Natural Instinct". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  20. Gottschall, Scott (2006-07-25). "Featured Artist: Laszlo Gardony". Jazz Review. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  21. Laszlo Gardony website
  22. "Laszlo Gardony | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  23. "Laszlo Gardony". Sunnyside Records. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
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