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Renee Rosnes at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival

Irene "Renee" Rosnes hails from Regina, Saskatchewan, though she spent most of her childhood in Vancouver. At 3, she began taking classical piano, and two years later took up the violin. She studied both instruments through her teen years, but the piano eventually became her primary focus. She continued her classical piano studies at the University of Toronto, by which point Rosnes had begun to discover and dig deeper into jazz. Following college, Rosnes began pursuing jazz full-time.

In 1985, Rosnes moved to New York on a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts in an effort to devote more time and energy to jazz. She intended her stay in New York to be brief, but her talents were quickly recognized by some of the most prominent musicians on the scene. In 1986, Joe Henderson asked Rosnes to join his quartet, and she toured the U.S., Europe, and Japan with the group. Two years later, saxophonist Wayne Shorter recruited Rosnes to join his quintet, and stints with J.J. Johnson and Jon Faddis followed. Rosnes has gone on to perform and record with Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Dave Holland, and Tootie Heath, to name a few.

Rosnes' role as a leader took off in 1990 with her first self-titled release on Blue Note. Eight more albums on the prestigious label followed, earning the pianist and composer seven Juno Awards and several Canadian National Jazz Awards. Rosnes has also been a founding member of the San Francisco Jazz Collective, a group of all-star players that includes Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, and Stefon Harris, among others. The group has released four albums, each chronicling the compositions of a particular jazz artist; the first featured the works of Ornette Coleman, followed by homages to John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and, most recently, Thelonious Monk.

In 2007, just weeks before this Piano Jazz taping at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Rosnes married jazz pianist Bill Charlap.

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