Dick Hyman

Richard “Dick” Hyman (born March 8, 1927, New York City) is an American jazz pianist/keyboardist and composer, best known for his versatility with jazz piano styles. Over a 50 year career, he has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and, increasingly, as composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in well over 100 albums recorded under his own name and many more in support of other artists. Dick Hyman was trained classically by his mother's brother, the concert pianist Anton Rovinsky, a fixture of the pre-war art scene in New York, noted for having premiered some of Charles Ives's works, such as The Celestial Railroad in 1928. Hyman said of Rovinsky, "He was my most important teacher. I learned touch from him and a certain amount of repertoire, especially Beethoven. On my own I pursued Chopin. I loved his ability to take a melody and embellish it in different arbitrary ways, which is exactly what we do in jazz. Chopin would have been a terrific jazz pianist. His waltzes are in my improvising to this day." Dick's older brother, Arthur, introduced him to the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Teddy Wilson, and others.

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