Ann Tappan

Ann Tappan grew up in Montclair, New Jersey where she started playing piano at the age of four. She entered Berklee College of Music to study jazz piano, composition and arranging then returned to the NYC area to connect with the avant-garde loft scene of the ‘70s. In 1976 Ann relocated to the Bay Are to study with ECM pianist Art Lande becoming part of his experimental jazz school, first as a student then as an instructor. During her time in the Bay Area, she wrote and arranged for many live and recorded projects and performed with such giants as Eddie Henderson and Joe Henderson.

Ann migrated to Montana in 1993 where she quickly became a busy performer, private educator, and teacher of the award-winning Bozeman High School Jazz Combo. She was the author and administrator of a 2001 MAC/Jazz Montana grant, a year-long creative music program linking national and local professional musicians to state-wide audiences and K-12 students. She maintained an energetic private studio, dedicated to educating the young people of Montana in classical and jazz music. She was a faculty member (along with Phil Aaberg and David Morganroth) of the Montana Jazz Piano Workshop, Bozeman’s Camp Epic and in 2017 was Artist in Residence at Hanford High School in Richland, WA. She continues to teach in her home studio in Manhattan.

Drawing by Genie DeWeese

Drawing by Genie DeWeese

Since living in Montana she recorded 8 CDs with the groups ThreeForm, Springhill and the Tappan/Roberti/MJ Williams Trio and Quartet. She has performed widely in the Northwest, including concerts at the Myrna Loy Center, Bumbershoot Arts Festival and Jazz Alley in Seattle, the Jazz Montana Festival, and opening performances for Joan Armatrading and Dave Grusin in Bozeman. She toured Montana with NYC vocalist Roseanna Vitro, performed with David Murray in Bozeman and collaborated with Dutch vocalist Carola Vossen and NYC vocalist Andrea Wolper. She put together tribute concerts with Montana musicians MJ Williams, Kelly Roberti, Alan Fauque and Brad Edwards, honoring the music of jazz greats Abbey Lincoln, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow, and Wayne Shorter. Tappan toured Czech Republic 3 times with her band, Springhill, including performances at the Prague International Jazz Festival. Ann was featured twice on the Montana PBS arts program, 11th and Grant, “ The Tappan/Roberti/Williams Quartet and “Christmas  Favorites”. She appeared at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone Park for month long residencies in 2015 and 2016.

Her band ThreeForm, formed in the 1990’s, reunited in 2015 at the 1+1=1 Art Gallery in Helena, MT for a sold-out concert. Ann’s first album as a leader, Paintings was released in 2017. She traveled to Berlin Germany to establish contact with Andreas Schmidt, Berlin Jazz Institute instructor, and spent several months in 2018 and 2019 studying and playing with local jazz musicians. 2020-2021 resulted in exploring with MJ Williams different ways for internet rehearsing. Her most recent release THE RETURN (Williams/Tappan/Kohler Trio) was supported by a Montana Arts Council/NEA Grant. Performances of the music from this album were received warmly by Montana audiences in the fall of 2022. She recently performed a concert of her original compositions in Boulder CO produced by her long-time mentor, Art Lande featuring Art on drums.