Pianist, composer and arranger, Gene Knific has performed worldwide presenting an extensive and diverse repertoire with a wide array of artists including Joe Lovano; Western Jazz Quartet in Russia at The St. Petersburg Conservatory and Jazz Philharmonic; Copenhagen Opera House; Montmartre Jazzhus, Denmark; International Society of Bassists Convention, San Francisco, California; the 2011 and 2012 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, Florida; Schlern International Music Festival, Italy; Mozambique International Festival of Music; Elkhart Jazz Festival; and Fontana Chamber Arts Summer Series. Gene leads The Gene Knific Trio in original works and unique explorations of classical and modern genres and has also performed in trio/quartet settings with Kevin Mahogany, Roseanne Vitro, Kate Reid, Bobby Shew and is the pianist of touring/recording ensemble, The Tom Knific Quartet.
An active composer in both jazz and chamber music settings, Gene and has also written for the Stamps Foundation Distinguished Ensembles featuring guitarist/singer Steve Miller; Expanded Improvisation for Violin and Piano and Piano Quintet; a string quartet; and a hybrid work for jazz and chamber ensemble. Knific has also received a grant from the Knight Foundation for the production of a self-produced feature film and is also the recipient of 7 Down Beat Music Awards for his performances and compositions in jazz and contemporary categories. Gene graduated with highest honors from the University of Miami Frost School of Music with degrees in jazz performance and composition, where he studied with Shelly Berg, Martin Bejerano, Lansing McLoskey, and Terence Blanchard.
Relapse is a new work for orchestra inspired by my research on the use and struggle with drugs by many of the master musicians and innovators in jazz. The music reflects struggles with addiction, the various psychological effects of using, and the public association of drugs with jazz with reference to various interviews, biographies, and articles on the subject.
listen to Gene’s Elegy for Connor: