Andrew Oliver is a pianist from Portland, Oregon, specializing in stride piano, 1920s jazz and blues, ragtime, and tango. His playing is energetic and authentic, drawing on the styles of pianists such as Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, and Earl Hines to deliver a stomping style which emphasizes the exciting groove and drive which brought jazz to the forefront of popular music in the 20th century and continues to excite and captivate audiences today.
Performing solo and with a number of acclaimed groups, including the Dime Notes, Vitality Five, and Bridgetown Sextet, Andrew brings his love of 1920s jazz to contemporary audiences, bringing the diversity of styles within early jazz to life. Moving beyond bland recreationism and superficial imitation, he and his groups use their knowledge and love of jazz history to provide a dynamic and exciting experience for modern audiences.
A particular specialist in the music of the great New Orleans pioneering pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, Andrew and clarinetist David Horniblow have recorded all of Morton’s known compositions on their YouTube Channel, and their duo CD of Morton’s tunes was selected as one of the 10 best jazz albums of 2019 by the Times (London).
Andrew began playing jazz as a teenager after childhood training in classical piano and cello, and studied at Loyola University New Orleans and Portland State University. He was highly involved in both contemporary and traditional jazz in Portland from 2005-2013, founding and directing the the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble / PJCE Records and performing, touring and releasing numerous albums with the Andrew Oliver Sextet, The Ocular Concern, the jazz-west African Kora Band, the Canadian-American collective Tunnel Six, and Devin Phillips and New Orleans Straight Ahead, with whom he toured 5 countries in West Africa as a U.S. State Department cultural ambassador in 2007. He was the recipient of a 2012 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant for the Kora Band’s third album, “New Cities.” He also co-founded and played cornet, piano, and drums in the Bridgetown Sextet which rapidly gained a reputation as one of the Northwest’s best traditional jazz bands and became a strong favorite in the swing dance community.
Andrew moved to London, England in 2013 and quickly established himself on the traditional jazz scene, teaming up with British clarinetist and bass saxophonist David Horniblow in the Dime Notes, the Vitality Five, and Horniblow’s Hot Three, as well as playing with the Old Hat Jazz Band and freelancing with many top names on the UK traditional jazz scene. He has toured with the Dime Notes and Vitality Five across the U.K. and Europe including festivals and clubs in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Czech Republic as well as numerous tours in the U.S. and Canada with the Dime Notes, the Kora Band, and Tunnel Six.
In addition, Andrew has a long standing interest in Argentine tango, which began with his collaboration with Portland-based dancer, teacher, and bandoneonist Alex Krebs. They have been playing traditional Argentine tango music for dancing as well as creating new danceable tango music in traditional and modern styles since 2011 with the Alex Krebs Tango Orchestra and What the Tango?!, including three album releases and appearences at tango festivals in Portland, Seattle, and Baltimore. In addition, Andrew performs tangos in duo with singer Megan Yvonne and has performed with a variety of tango musicians from the U.S., U.K. and Argentina including Alberto Podesta, Leonardo Suarez Paz, the London Tango Orchestra and Quartet, and Guillermo Rozenthuler.