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David Budway

Versatile Jazz and Classical Pianist and Recording Artist who works with Laws and Minnelli

David Budway is versatile jazz and classical pianist who stars at concert halls and night clubs across America.  A jazz recording artist, he is also a song writer, arranger, and film composer. As a solo recording artist he has released 4 CDs on the Allanna and MAXJAZZ labels.  He has played and/or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws, , Jeff "Tain" Watts, Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Louie Bellson, Mark Murphy, Marlena Shaw, Ravi Coltrane, Joe Pass, and George Benson.  He has toured with Hubert Laws, Stanley Turrentine, and Lisa Minella.  In New York he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Merkin Hall, The Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Cotton Club, The Jazz Standard, Zinc Bar, and Smalls.  As a classical pianist David performed many times with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has appeared with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Steinway Society, and the Pittsburgh Concert Society. 

“Although I have had the pleasure of performing with Chick Corea, Bob James, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner—to mention a few—it is of special note that David Budway gives me an extra dimension when planning my live performances. I am now able to include classical as well as jazz repertoire in my programs. He is an outstanding improviser as well as classical pianist.”   - Hubert Laws    

“‘Budway's own six songs hold their own with the likes of Mancini, McKuen, and Previn”  - Stereo Review       

“Budway, a stellar and vastly underrated pianist” – Jazz Times    

Born in Pittsburgh David Budway grew up in Point Breeze.  He began classical piano study at age five.  After graduating from Taylor Alderdice High School he earned a Masters Degree in Classical Piano from Duquesne University in 1981.   David was a Professor of music at Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University from 1983 through 1995, where he taught Jazz and Classical piano.  Over those 15 years he performed many solo classical piano facility recitals and master classes. 

Working in the jazz world he performed in Pittsburgh he appeared at the Balcony Jazz club with his sister Maureen and the David Budway Trio. He also performed shows backing jazz legends Clark Terry, Joe Pass, Jon Faddis, Louie Bellson, Dave Liebman, George Benson, Mark Murphy, Jimmy Heath, and Dizzy Gillespie.   David recorded his first jazz album with his vocalist sister Maureen entitled "Jazz, the Budway" in 1989.  In 1990 he recorded with Eric Leeds, Prince’s sax man and fellow Pittsburgher, on Leeds Warner Brothers release “Things Left Unsaid”.  Also in 1990 David was the featured jazz piano soloist on the soundtrack of the independent film "Giant Steps" that starred Billy Dee Williams. David scored original music for "Lift", a short film that features Dominic Pinon.

David made his first appearances as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1992 and 1994.  Working with flutist Herbert Laws he performed a classical recital tour.  David has since appeared on several of Mr. Laws recordings including "Storm Then the Calm" (Music Masters), "Hubert Laws Plays French Classics in Memory of Jean Pierre Rampal" (Spirit Productions/Scepterstein Records) and "Moondance" on Savoy Jazz, which features three of Budway’ original compositions.  David released two solo jazz piano albums on Alanna Records "Brief Encounter to Last a Lifetime"(1995) and "The Music I Hear" (1996).

In 1980 the Shadyside jazz club the Balcony closed.  Having played at the Balcony since 1980 Budway felt he had done all that he could do in Pittsburgh.  Following in the footsteps Pittsburgh’s jazz piano heroes, he made the move to New York City in 1997.  There he found work with Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, and Liza Minnelli.  One of his first engagements was accompanying Broadway diva Christiane Noll.  He became the pianist for Stanely Turrentine, the Regina Carter Quintet and Jeff 'Tain' Watts.  He appears on the Jeff 'Tain' Watts “Bar Talk" Sony CD that includes the Budway composition "Kiss".  Entertaining at New York's most revered piano bar "Brandy's" he caught the attention of Liza Minnelli.  She hired him as her accompanist taking him on several tours of the U.S.

In 1999 Budway returned to Pittsburgh for a guest appearance with the PSO and Marvin Hamlisch.  David won two prizes in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition in 2001.

2010 took him on a another world wide classical music tour with Hubert Laws. In 2011 Budway toured with Liza Minelli in venues across the country and released his album “A New Kiss” on the Maxjazz label.  "A New Kiss" features performances by Branford Marsalis and Jeff 'Tain' Watts, as well as bassist Eric Revis, guitarist Ron Affif, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and accordionist/keyboardist Joe Barbato.

Continuing his teaching career David Budway gives Masterclasses at William Patterson University and writes scholarly essays.  His essay "Contemporary French Music's Influence in Jazz Harmonies" was published in Downbeat Magazine

Budway with Hubert Laws
Classical Budway
Budway Lisa Minelli
Budway with Hubert Laws
A New Kiss CD 2011