pianist, composer/arranger, bandleader
Twice nominated in 2005 & 2006 for the prestigious Hans Koller “Best European
Jazz Musician Preis“Award, pianist, bandleader, composer & arranger LUCIAN
BAN is originally from Cluj, Transylvania, Romania. He currently lives in New York City where he is part of the next generation of performers & composers at the forefront of contemporary modern jazz.
”Ban plays with a fluency and sensibility that recalls Vladimir Horowitz as much as McCoy Tyner” TERRELL HOLMES, All About Jazz (March 2003)
“Influenced by the music of Ellington, Monk, Abdullah Ibrahim and Randy Weston, in addition of the richfolk music of his native country, Lucian Ban has blossomed onto a highly regarded jazz pianist and composer”JASON WEST, Jazz Steps SEATTLE
“ Lucian Ban playing reminds of a great Bill Evans or Krystof Komeda “
JAZZ PODIUM, Germany (Premonition’ CD review)
“Lucian (Ban) swirls his dynamic spark at the piano, also taking a magnificent fine-tuned solo …he’s one of the most gifted pianists to move to New York in the past decade …“
BRUCE LEE GALLANTER, jazz critic
Ban’s tasteful, reflective piano playing combines the elegance and technical precision
of the European classical tradition with wide-ranging musical interests and a passion for improvisation”JEFF STOCKTON, jazz critic
Mr. Ban leads the super group ELEVATION featuring world renowned tenor sax Abraham Burton, Nasheet Waits on drums and bassist John Hebert, the ASYMMETRY Quartet feat. Jorge Sylvester (alto Sax), Brad Jones (bass) and Derek Phillips or Gene Jackson (drums), and The TUBA PROJECT a group featuring the famous Bob Stewart on (tuba), Alex Harding (baritone sax), Bruce Williams (alto sax) and Derek Phillips (drums).
He co-leads with soprano sax Sam Newsome “The Romanian-American Jazz Suite” group, a project that presents Romanian Folk music from a jazz perspective. In 2008 their CD bearing the same name was released to critical acclaim to both US and European audiences, followed by successful tours on both sides of the Atlantic.
He also co-leads with baritone sax Alex Harding the LUMINATION Ensemble a group that performs since 2002 featuring special guests such as: Sam Newsome, Art Baron, Jorge Sylvester, Josh Roseman, Bruce Williams and many more. In 2003 the Lumination Ensemble featuring drum legend Barry Altschul was voted "One of the best shows of 2003 " by the All About Jazz Magazine NYC along with Cecil Taylor and Joe Lovano groups.
Mr. Ban has released seven critically acclaimed albums as a leader for US and European based labels. 2003 sees his US debut recording with "Something' Holy" a duet CD with Alex Harding followed by "Premonition" a Quintet album featuring Alex Harding, Damion Reid, Erik Torrente and Chris Dahlgren both for CIMP Records. In 2006
he releases on Jazzaway Records “PLAYGROUND” by his Asymmetry Quartet one of his best albums to date, followed by a sideman appearance on Alex Harding’s acclaimed “The Calling“ CD (featuring Nasheet Waits, Brad Jones and Andrew Daniels). Also in 2006 he releases the first album of the unique TUBA PROJECT band featuring Bob Stewart, J.D.Allen, Alex Harding, and Derrek Phillips. And in 2008 “The Romanian-American Jazz Suite” by Sam Newsome & Lucian Ban Ensemble is released to great success on Jazzaway Records. His first 2 recordings as a leader, “Changes – Live at Green Hours” and “From now on” were released on the Romanian label Green Records.
He performs and tours regularly with his projects and as a sideman in New York jazz clubs and Europe Festivals and between 2002 -2005 was a member of The BMI Composers Jazz Workshop. He writes & arranges for Machito Orchestra and was commissioned by them to write a piece for their opening concert at Super Bowl 2002.
Lucian Ban has performed/recorded with: Alex Harding, Barry Altschul, Gerald Cleaver, Bob Stewart, Ken Filliano, Mark Helias, Sam Newsome, Art Baron, Curtis Fowlkes, Gene Jackson, Nasheet Waits, Ron Horton, Pheeroan AkLaff, Reggie Nicholson, J.D.Allen, Willard Dyson, Badal Roy, Carlo DeRosa, Damion Reid, Jorge Sylvester, Josh Roseman, Abraham Burton, Essiet Essiet, Chris Dahlgren, Brad Jones, John Hebert, Bruce Williams, Bruce Cox, Tassili Bonds, Hill Greene, etc.
Lucian Ban wrote music for more than 20 theater productions, film and ballet and for NYC Symphony Orchestra and in June 2001 he composed original music for the Theater/Dance Company MINUS. His original music for the theatre play “Philosopher Fox” produced by East River Comedia was nominated twice for the prestigious IT Awards in NYC. His last theatre score was for Saviana’s Stanescu ‘Waxing West” production at La Mama Theater in NY.
Lucian Ban received his degree in Contemporary Jazz Composition and Arranging from New School University in NYC. He also holds a degree in Philosophy from Bucharest University