about

Kerry Politzer started picking out melodies on a toy piano at the age of three. The following year, she started playing the real thing. After studying classical piano for fourteen years and attending the North Carolina School of the Arts, she entered the New England Conservatory of Music with the intention of becoming a classical pianist.

However, after attending a jazz piano recital at the school, she fell in love with jazz. She got on the waiting list for jazz guru Charlie Banacos, studied performance and composition with him for four years, and graduated with a degree in jazz piano performance.

In 1996, Kerry was one of six finalists in the American Pianists Association's 3rd Biennial Jazz Piano Competition. Half of the contestants were from New York City, so she decided to try her luck there. She soon discovered a brand-new love, Brazilian music, which began to inform her jazz compositions. Her composition Rhodes Rage won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition. Begin The Baiao won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2000 Mid-Atlantic Song Competition and an Honorable Mention in the 2000 John Lennon Songwriting Competition.

Kerry’s debut CD, Yearning, which received four stars from All Music Guide, was released by CAP Records in 2001. The title track from this CD is also featured on Sax And The City: Musical Contributions From New York's Best Women Jazz Instrumentalists (Apria Records, 2004). Kerry released two more CDs, Watercolor (2002) and Labyrinth (2005), on her own Polisonic label. This CD was a finalist for Best Jazz Album in the 2007 Independent Music Awards.

After releasing these albums, Kerry took a musical detour from her instrumental jazz roots and participated in songwriting workshops held by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her fourth album, You Took Me In, features songs with lyrics and a full band including Lonnie Plaxico (Cassandra Wilson, Nellie McKay) and George Colligan, better known as a pianist, on trumpet, drums, and synthesizer. One of the tracks, Love is in the Atmosphere, won First Place in the August 2008 Ourstage Jazz Competition. Her latest album, Below the Surface, was released by PJCE Records in 2014.

Kerry has performed with her group at Cornelia Street Cafe, Wave Hill, Smalls, Rockwood Music Hall, and the Kitano, among other venues. She is a member of SESAC. Some of Kerry's songs have been placed on the Food Network and the History Channel.

Kerry's new projects include learning to play the guitar, navigating her new city of Portland, Oregon, writing for a quintet, and taking care of two very active little boys.