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George Colligan

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George Colligan

Peabody Institute

Jazz, Chamber music

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29 December 1969 (age 54) New Jersey, US (

Musician Educator Composer Bandleader

Piano, organ, drums, trumpet

Jazz Pianist ยท

Hancock Island: The Music of Herbie Hancock

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George Colligan (born December 29, 1969) is a jazz pianist, organist, drummer, trumpet player, educator, composer and bandleader based in Portland, Oregon.


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Colligan was born in New Jersey, and raised in Columbia, Maryland. He attended the Peabody Institute, majoring in classical trumpet and music education. In high school he learned to play the drums and later switched to piano. His playing is influenced by Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner. Colligan's style is eclectic; it incorporates everything from show tunes to funk, from free improvisation to modern classical music.

As a sideman, Colligan has worked with Phil Woods, Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, Billy Higgins, Lee Konitz, Nicholas Payton, Steve Wilson, Richard Bona, Cassandra Wilson, Christian McBride, Buster Williams, Al Foster, Don Byron, Benny Golson, Lonnie Plaxico, Vanessa Rubin, and many others.

Colligan is a recipient of the Chamber Music America award for composition and a winner of the award. He has released 21 albums as a leader and is featured on over 100 albums as a sideman.

Colligan has performed at festivals all over the world, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Cancun Jazz Festival. In 2007, for the first time, he played trumpet with the trio Mr. Trumpet at the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which is held annually in New York City. Colligan taught at the Juilliard School.

In September 2009, Colligan moved to Winnipeg, Canada to teach at the University of Manitoba. He taught jazz history, piano, drums, trumpet, and led many different master classes. He was the songwriter-in-residence at Aqua Books from February to March 2011.

In July 2011, Colligan moved to Portland, Oregon to teach at Portland State University. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Jazz Ensembles Coordinator.

Colligan is married to jazz pianist Kerry Politzer.


  • Activism (SteepleChase, 1996)
  • The Newcomer (SteepleChase, 1997)
  • Stomping Ground (SteepleChase, 1998)
  • Constant Source (SteepleChase, 1999)
  • Small Room (SteepleChase, 1999)
  • Twins (SteepleChase, 2000) with Jesper Bodilsen
  • Agent 99 (SteepleChase, 2000)
  • A Wish (SteepleChase, 2001)
  • Return to Copenhagen (SteepleChase, 2002)
  • Isolation (SteepleChase, 2010)
  • The Endless Mysteries with Jack DeJohnette and Larry Grenadier (Origin Records, 2013)
  • Risky Notion (Origin Records, 2015)
  • With Lee Konitz
  • Pride (SteepleChase, 1999)
  • With Gary Thomas

  • Found on Sordid Streets (Winter & Winter, 1997)
  • References

    George Colligan Wikipedia