Jazz pianist and educator Harry Appelman has performed on concert stages on five continents. He has been chosen three times to participate in U.S. State Department music tours overseas -- to South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, and South Asia. He has performed in Egypt with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the Todd Marcus Quartet, at the Festival Gnaouas et Musiques du Monde in Essaouira, Morocco and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Mr. Appelman is a member of Afro Bop Alliance, winners of a 2008 Latin Grammy, and has contributed several arrangements to the group's recordings. He has toured the United States and Canada with the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. A recipient of Maryland State Arts Council Awards for composition in 2012 and 2018, he was a finalist in both the 1987 and 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competitions (finishing second in 1988) and one of three prizewinners in the 1989 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Appelman has performed in small groups led by Conrad Herwig, Eddie Daniels, Gary Thomas, Drew Gress, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, and Walt Weiskopf, among others. He has had long-term musical associations with such non-Western musicians as Afghani vocalist/harmonium virtuoso Humayun Khan and tabla player Broto Roy. Mr. Appelman was named in Washingtonian magazine's February 2003 "Great Music" issue as one of the D.C. area's best jazz artists. He currently performs in the area at Blues Alley, the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Twins, and other popular jazz venues.
Appelman leads the latin jazz group Duende Quartet, and has played frequently with Palmetto recording artists Rumba Club. He has performed in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Darren Atwater, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra with guest soloist Branford Marsalis. He has also resided and performed in Boston and New York City -- where he played with numerous creative and respected groups, ranging from trumpeter Scott Wendholt's quartet to vocalist Dakota Staton's trio.
A native of the Chicago area, Appelman began his classical music training in the first grade, later turning to the fusion and rock idioms and ultimately to jazz. After graduating with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois -- where he was honored as a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude -- he went on to earn a Master of Music degree with Distinction from the New England Conservatory. His post-graduate music studies have included work with Jim McNeely, Fred Hersch, Stanley Cowell, Tom McKinley, Sophia Rosoff and other brilliant pianist-teachers.
2006 to present: adjunct music faculty (applied music), Montgomery College, Rockville, MD.
2009 to present: adjunct music faculty, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Clinics / master classes in US and abroad with Duende Quartet, Afro Bop Alliance and James Cotton Quartet. Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz: "Jazz Sports DC" music coach at Fillmore Arts Center (elementary and middle school students).
Private students since 1997.
As leader or co-leader: