Geri Allen Day

June 12, 1957 – June 27, 2017



Pianist Geri Allen was born on June12, 1957 in Pontiac, Michigan and raised in Detroit.

One of the great pianists of her generation, she’s one of a very small number of pianists who has ever recorded with Ornette Coleman.

In addition to over twenty albums of her own, she’s appeared on recordings by Betty Carter, Steve Coleman, Charlie Haden, Oliver Lake, Dewey Redman and many others.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from Howard University in 1979 she moved to New York where she studied under pianist Kenny Barron and would further her education at University of Pittsburgh. There she got her master’s degree in ethnomusicology before returning to New York in 1982.

In 1984 Geri released her debut album “The Printmakers” featuring Anthony Cox and Andrew Cyrille and went on to work with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, Tony Williams and Ron Carter, and later Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Ornette Coleman.

In 1995 Geri Allen’s LP “Twenty-One” earned her Soul Train’s Lady of Soul Award for jazz album of the year.

She returned the University of Pittsburgh in 2013, replacing her former mentor Nathan Davis as the Director of the Jazz Studies Program.

The “Geri Allen Trio” is seen here featured on BET Jazz.


Geri Allen, piano
Billy Johnson, bass
Marc Johnson, drums

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