accessible music be intelligent? And intelligent music passionate?
Adam Levin tries to answer those questions with his music. Music
that classical musicians have called jazz. And jazz musicians have
called rock. And rock musicians? They've called it
classical. With some pop, soul and funk sneaked in.
one could call Adam’s work the “liberal arts” of music. One
discipline is not enough. But that's predictable coming from a
background of classical piano training, pop music listening, and
European ("progressive") art rock, or jazz- and classical-rock fusion,
and the "psychedelic" movement that ushered it in. Not to mention
a family of professional musicians, with a classical pianist mother and
jazz pianist father as his earliest influences.
written well over a hundred songs and instrumental pieces, with an array
of instrumentation. They run the gamut from pop to contemporary
classical, sometimes combining contrasting elements. His lyrics
range from the state of the heart to the state of the world, with a
sense of irony, poetry, spirituality, storytelling and humor.
composed, written lyrics, arranged, produced, played keyboards and/or
sung for musical, performance and recording artists, theatre and ballet. His songs have been accepted by major music publishing,
performed at hundreds of events in North America and Europe, been
featured on radio and television, and received critical acclaim.
His recordings have sold internationally.
He continues to record and
perform in the New York tri-state area, including as a writer, arranger,
keyboardist and vocalist for
Wendy Boulding, Ellen Weiss and Valerie Gomes.
He has written individually as well as with
Wendy Boulding, David Brooks, Brenda
Hettmansberger, Joe Lobell,
Elena Rye Pellicciaro, Anne Ptasznik, Kathryn Sanders, Tomas Stark and
Peter Stoller, nearly all of whom he has performed with.
Over the years, he has also performed with, written and/or arranged for
such artists as Mark Abrahams, and/or, Annette U-Bet & The Future, Eva
Blissful Behemoth, Mathias (Little Bear) Clarke, Mark Dann, John Eyre, Joe
Gallant, Marci Geller, Les July, David Kleinman, Marc Landesberg, Magnetix,
Jay Mark, M.D. Poole, Glen Roethel, Marshal Rosenberg, Michael Scranton, Tonya Tobias and Steve Wirts.
says you have to play renaissance music to be a “renaissance” musician?
Adam’s interests are also political, and as progressive as his musical
tastes. That interest is evident in some of his songs. He
has performed for benefit concerts and/or recordings for the homeless,
world hunger, world peace, World Trade Center and hurricane
disaster relief, and progressive politicians. He
has also worked for New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs,
Mayor, and two Public Advocates, and the New York State Attorney
General's Division of Public Advocacy. Indeed, he was once mistaken for being “the
songwriter for the Mayor”. Kind of like the court jester.
studied music composition, piano and musical theatre at InterlochenCenter
for the Arts/University of Michigan School of Music, Indiana University
School of Music, and Berklee College of Music. Fortunately, he
succeeded in not allowing any of it to interfere with his musical
education. And somewhere along the way, he acquired a Bachelor of
Arts degree from AdelphiUniversity, where he
studied English, writing and theatre. He has been a member of the
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; the Songwriters
Hall of Fame, the Long Island Composers Alliance, and the Global
On-Reflection Giant Gathering (devoted to preserving and honoring the
music of Gentle Giant and its musicians.) He also oversees the Rhoda
Pinsley Levin Endowed Award for Excellence in Musical Performance at
Hofstra University. Despite his maverick nature,
he has even received the occasional award. Even when they didn't
know how to categorize his music.