Pianist, composer, arranger
Gary Motley has been recognized with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Soapstone Center for the Arts, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and the American Composers Forum. Gary has also been featured in Downbeat Magazine and on Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland (NPR). His recording credits range from his premier CD Peaceful Moments (1994) to his latest recording, Seasoning (2012).
Gary began studying the piano as a young child and would later be exposed to jazz as a teenager. It was soon thereafter that he would decide to make music his life's endeavor. During his career, Gary has established a professional association with many of today's leaders in jazz. He has worked with artists ranging from Dave Brubeck to Clarke Terry.
In 2000, Gary served as pianist and conductor for the Alliance Theater's production of Blues in the Night and collaborated with actress Debbie Allen and director Kenny Leon for the theater's premiere of Soul Possessed. Gary can also be heard on the Debbie Allen-Phylicia Rashad production of The Old Settler on PBS. He also recorded music with Whoopi Goldberg for the Broadway production of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and collaborated with director Kenny Leon, providing music for the 2004 Broadway Production of A Raisin in the Sun.
Notable performances include the premiere of Gary's first orchestral work entitled The Artist and the Visionary, duo performances with pianists Dave Brubeck and Kenny Baron, concerts with Jon Faddis, Eddie Daniels and Benny Golson. Gary's recordings include Compassion (2001), The Gary Motley Trio featuring Veronica Tate (2001), Keypers (2004), Everything I Love (2005), Renaissance (2009) and Seasoning (2012). He is the recipient of Creative Loafing Magazine's Critics Choice Award for Best Jazz Artist and was selected by the American Composers Forum to serve as an artist-in-residence resulting in his second composition for string orchestra and jazz trio entitled The Resolution of a Dream. Gary's composition, Highland Summit: A Suite for String Quartet and Jazz Quartet was premiered at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival with the Vega String Quartet in 2006. Motley also performed his composition Suite Odyssey with the Vega String Quartet at Carnegie Hall in 2007. In 2010, his composition based on the work of Toni Morrison premiered at the Toni Morrison Society's Sixth Biennial Conference in Paris.
Gary is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the American Federation of Musicians and the Jazz Education Network.
Video courtesy of Georgia Public Broadcasting Television