Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Gould, Eric

Gould, Eric, pianist, composer and arranger; b. Cleveland, Ohio 21 January 21 1957. His parents, Cornelius P. Gould Jr. and Phyllis W. Gould, were both born in 1921 and were from Pittsburgh, where his father worked for the historically renowned African-American newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier after returning from WWII.  Cornelius was a Tuskeegee Airman, and flew with Benjamin Davis, Chappie James, and a host of other trailblazing African-American men until his plane went down over Nazi territory and he was captured, spending the last year of the war in Stalag Luft I, a German POW camp.  Having attended Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Gould went to high school with Erroll Garner, and remembered Billy Strayhorn well.  He was an amateur violinist before the war, and his love for jazz and blues became a major influence on his youngest son, Eric.

His mother was one of the first African-American high school administrators in the Cleveland area, and was a professor of calculus at Cuyahoga Community College.  She was an amateur pianist whose love of classical music, Spanish guitar music, and spirituals heavily influenced Eric's development as well.  Gould is the youngest of four children.

While his first three CD's have met with good success, and have enabled him to make a mark on the national jazz scene, these are but the latest moves in a 24-year for pianist, composer, and arranger Eric Gould.  As a bandleader, he has shared the stage with some of jazz's brightest stars, opening for Earl Klugh, Azymuth, Larry Coryell, Wayne Shorter, and the New York Jazz All-Stars, and performing on television with Louie Bellson and James Moody.  He has performed and recorded in collaboration with world-reknowned instrumentalists such as James Newton, Bobby Watson, Cecil Bridgewater, Talib Kibwe (T.K. Blue), Don Braden, and Leon Lee Dorsey in addition to leading his own trio in performances from the Midwest to the East Coast.  Gould has been a guest soloist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra.  His debut CD, "On the Real" rose to number 11 on the national jazz radio charts in the first quarter of 1999.  His second CD, "Miles Away? Wayne in Heavy" rose to number 10 on the national charts and to number 45 (out of over 2500 releases) for the year 2000.  His third CD, "Who Sez?" has sold well from coast to coast.

Gould has composed music for various other ensembles as well.  In 1996, his piece for string quartet "He Speaks in Shadows" was performed by the critically acclaimed Cavani String Quartet at Merkin Concert Hall in New York, at the Chamber Music America Festival in New York, and at the Britt Festival.  His arrangement of the same piece for jazz quintet and orchestra was commissioned by the Canton Symphony Orchestra for a performance that took place in March, 2001.  His piece entitled "Midnight Excursion" was performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony in 2003.   He was awarded a Meet the Composer Grant from Arts Midwest in 1994, and was selected as a member of their touring roster in 1985.  He has also been a member of the Ohio Arts Council's Artists in Education Program.  Gould holds a Master's degree in Music Composition from Cleveland State University.

As an educator, Gould has conducted numerous workshops, residencies, and classes, in addition to private instruction, festival organization, and arts management consultation.  In his roles as Executive Director and Managing Consultant of the Excellence in Music Initiative in Cleveland, Ohio Gould played a substantial role in the development of the preparatory music program at Cuyahoga Community College, home of one of the country's premier educational jazz festivals.

His television credits include the 1984 PBS series entitled "North Coast Jazz," which featured his duo "Umoja." He has performed numerous live radio concerts featuring his own ensemble and with guests such as James Newton and Talib Kibwe (T.K. Blue).

In 2000, Gould served as a consultant for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz National Curriculum Project.  Gould has served as an advisory panelist for the National Jazz Service Organization, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Music School Settlement, the Society for Public Access Computing (in the early days of the internet), and the Cleveland Arts Initiative Task Force.  He served as Co-Chair of the Jazz/Special Projects grants panel for the National Endowment of the Arts in 1994 and as an individual artists grants panelist for the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo in 1986 and 1987.

Eric Gould currently resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he is active in composing, performing, recording, production, and arts management consultation.

On the Real (1998); Miles Away... Wayne in Heavy (1999); Who Sez? (2001)
Currently Unissued Recordings:
Eric Gould Sextet Live at Tri-C (2000); Eric Gould Trio w/ Special Guest James Newton (1999); Eric Gould Trio Live at Drinko Hall (2002); Eric Gould Quintet feat. Talib Kibwe (T.K. Blue) and Pharez Whitted (studio date, 1998); Eric Gould Trio at Harkness Chapel (2001)

Television Appearances:
w/ Cecil Bridgewater at the Tri-C Jazz Festival (2000) BET on Jazz
Host and Co-Producer of "Duke Ellington: Beyond Category" (Smithsonian Institution/Fairfax Network) (1999)

Contact information:
Eric Gould
c/o Umoja Productions
14206 Becket Rd.
Shaker Hts., OH 44120
216-752-2282 FAX

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