Award winning pianist and composer, Adrean Farrugia is one of Canada's most distinct voices on the piano. Fusing many diverse musical influences he has forged a personal sound which generates dynamic sensitivity, hard-driving swing, and a powerfully creative statement.
Adrean Farrugia began piano studies at the age of 13 with noted Hamilton teachers Shirley Coit and Donald Cook. Adrean comes from a musical family. His father Bruno is a professional drummer in the Hamilton music scene. His grandfather Joseph Ivan Arsenault was a Maritime fiddler.
In 1992 Adrean enrolled in the Mohawk College Applied music program studying with Mark Eisenman, Dave McMurdo, Mike Malone, Christopher Hunt, and Brian Dickinson. In1996 Adrean continued his Education at the University of Toronto Jazz Performance program studying with Gary Williamson, Kevin Turcotte, and Phil Nimmons. Also in 1996, Adrean attended the Banff Centre for the Arts' Summer Jazz Workshop where he studied and performed with Don Thompson, Hugh Fraser, Kenny Wheeler, Pat and Joe Labarbera, and Norma Winstone. Adrean has also received private instruction from jazz legends Cedar Walton, Geoff Keezer, Benny Green, Joanne Brackeen, and British pianist John Taylor.
Since then Adrean has been in high demand as a freelance performer and teacher. Adrean has performed/recorded with some of jazz's greatest and most diverse artists including: Curtis Fuller, Tom Scott, Bob Brookmeyer, Chris Potter, Randy Brecker, Joel Frahm, Ron Blake, Brad Goode, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Darcy James Argue, Matt Dusk, Sergio Bastos, Phil Dwyer, Guido Basso, Jane Bunnett, Memo Acevedo, Terry Clarke, Bob Brough, Barry Romberg, Don Thompson, Lorne Lofsky, Ian Froman, Kevin Turcotte, Quinsin Nachoff, Kirk MacDonald, Mike Murley, Kelly Jefferson, and Pat Labarbera.
Adrean is currently pianist for such diverse projects as the internationally renowned Matt Dusk Band, NYC saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff's Forward Motion, Chicago trumpet virtuoso Brad Goode's Quartet, The Bob Brough Quartet (featuring Artie Roth and Terry Clarke), RaviNaimpally's Indo-Jazz fusion band ‘Tasa', The Ernesto Cervini Quartet (featuring saxophonistJoel Frahm), The Jason Logue Sextet, Tim Shia's ‘The Worst Pop Band Ever', and the Darcy Hepner Big Band.
Locally, Adrean has performed in almost every major city in Canada and the United States. He has been on cross Canada tours with The Kelly Jefferson-Kelsley Grant Quintet, The Ernesto Cervini quartet featuring celebrated NYC saxophonist Joel Frahm, Tim Shia's ‘The Worst Pop Band Ever' and the JUNO award winning Richard Underhill Quintet.
Internationally, Adrean has performed in Paris, France as a member of the Chris Jennings Trio and the Matt Dusk band, on the mainstage at the Chicago Jazz Festival with Brad Goode's quartet, at the legendary Green Mill in Chicago with jazz icon Curtis Fuller, in Montreaux Switzerland with the Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, as well as in Warsaw Poland with Sundar Viswanathan, and with Matt Dusk in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Kaliningrad Russia,Warsaw and Krakow Poland, Tokyo Japan at the world famous Blue Note Jazz Club, and in Rotterdam Holland and the North Sea Jazz festival.
Adrean's debut recording as a leader Adrean Farrugia v1.0: Live at the Senator was released in the summer of 2006 on ROMHOG RECORDS. It features compositions by Adrean Farrugia, Wayne Shorter and Joni Mitchell. This album has enjoyed regular play on Toronto's JazzFM and the CBC as has led to appearances on JazzFM's ‘Joe Sealy's Duets' as well as a feature article in Performance Magazine by jazz journalist Geoff Chapman.
In 2008, Adrean forged a new project entitled RICOCHET featuring as well as himself on piano, three of Canadian jazz's most creative and distinct artists; Kevin Turcotte on trumpet, Andrew Downing on bass and drummer Anthony Michelli. The band released their debut recording in 2010 on the Mainstage at the TD Canada Trust Toronto International Jazz festival which also features vocalist Sophia Perlman, trombonist William Carn, saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, renowned Indian tabla master Ravi Naimpally, and cellist Kiki Misumi. Since then Ricochet has received expansive radio play across Canada as well critical acclaim nationwide and has been nominated for a JUNO award for best Contemporary Jazz Recording of 2011. Adrean won and JUNO award in 2008 for best Traditional Jazz Recording (Debut, Brandi Disterheft) Adrean was also voted Pianist of the Year at the 2010 Hamilton Music Awards.
Adrean is currently on the faculty of York University and Mohawk College of Arts and Technology where he teaches jazz piano and improvisation. He has also done workshops/clinics at the University of Colorado, University of Toronto, The University of Western Ontario, The Banff Centre for the arts, and in Warsaw Poland as part of the Polish Jazz Society's 35th annual Summer Jazz Workshop. As well, Adrean has been a contributing writer to piano guru Larry Fine's publication "The Piano Book", the world's foremost publication on all things piano.
In April of 2011 Adrean was invited to perform and to participate as a panellist at the 63rd annual Conference on World Affairs in Boulder Colorado, a week-long event bringing together individuals from all walks of life from around the world to discuss the current state of politics, the world economy, human rights, the arts, the environment and many other topics in panel discussions for the general public. Adrean was the sole invitee from Canada. Adrean Farrugia is a Shigeru Kawai artist.
For more information, visit:
- Youtube video of Adrean performing It Could Happen To You