Thanks to the wonderful Gerry Fialka for this INNER VIEW. The questions of my life and times are all answered in this video.
Thanks as well to Kenneth and Voyage Atlanta for the article to the left which delves into my early years and my current adventures at the airport.
Born and raised in New York with roots in Stockbridge Ma. and Oakland and Los Angeles Ca. Jez has been a fixture on the Atlanta music scene since relocating here with his wife to raise a family in 1988. Mentored by some amazing teachers including Bee Walker, Mike Schiffer, Art Lande, Tommy Mars ,and W.A. Mathieu, Jez began playing professionally in 1974.
In the 90’s he played at all the major clubs and hotels solo and with his trio while releasing his original pop and jazz standards cd’s including “Thursday” which received national Jazz airplay.
The 2000’s brought a residency with his 8 piece funk/jazz group Jez Graham and The Combination at Sambuca Jazz Cafe where he recorded two live albums including “Monday” with The New trio.
He was music director and pianist for the legendary Jazz/Blues vocalist Francine Reed for over 25 years culminating in an appearance with her at her induction into the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame where they performed and original of Jez’s “Surrender” at the ceremony.
In 2008 he began working with original Beach Boy guitarist David Marks. They recorded the album “Live On Sunset” in L.A. in 2010 and another live album with a band of Atlantan’s that Jez put together called David Marks and The Summertime Blues Band “Live At Eddies Attic” which has recently been made available on Bandcamp.
From 2011-2015 Jez toured with the godfather of the southern jam band scene Col. Bruce Hampton. playing some legendary shows in NYC, San Francisco and all through the south. Jez also co-wrote Col. Bruce’s final studio album with him.
Earlier highlights from the 80’s include backing up The Legendary Ladies of Rock and Roll, Darlene Love, Martha Reeves, and Ronnie Spector, Playing L.A. clubs with The Honey's, touring Japan with the Rock/Disco/Funk band Between The Two, Getting to meet and jam with legends Shuggie Otis, Missing Persons, and Frank Zappa, A stint as a house pianist at The Comedy Store where he played on and off such legends as Richard Pryor and Jim Carrey, and leading his original bands The Now and The 5 Street Band.
Jez has recently released 2 albums of all original music on his band camp page. “Percolate” was released on April 1st, 2022. It features 23 songs, many written during the lockdown. All done with just piano and vocals. “The Jez Graham Collection” collects 50 original recordings from 1978-2022.
In 2018 Jez’s original holiday song “Let’s Make Everyday Like Christmas” was featured and sung by everyone's favorite clown with the baritone voice Puddles Pity Party in his Holiday show at The Fox Theater. That same year Jez began playing at Hartsfield Jackson becoming his all-time favorite gig.
Here is a quote from a recent interview that explains why he loves it so much.
“Regarding my work as a piano player, since 2018 I have been playing solo piano at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport and it’s my favorite gig of all time. There is an exchange of energy that is profound and every day is a journey. It’s kind of like music therapy in real time and it’s very gratifying. The travelers are so kind and appreciative and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to play for them.