Born in Tel Aviv, Tamir Hendelman began keyboard studies at age 6, moving to the U.S. in 1984 and winning Yamaha’s national keyboard competition two years later. Concerts in Japan and the Kennedy Center followed. Drawn to the impressionistic and jazz harmonies of composers such Ravel and Bill Evans, he studied at the Tanglewood Institute and received a B.M. in Music Composition from Eastman School of Music in 1993. Aftera brief period exploring film scoring, he focused on jazz piano, forming his own trio, which features original compositions, bebop, blues and Brazilian music. Since 2000 he has toured the US, Japan and Europe with his trio and as a member of the Jeff Hamilton Trio and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
Tamir Hendelman was a soloist with the Henry Mancini Orchestra in 1999. In 2001 he premiered Clayton’s orchestration of Oscar Peterson’s Canadiana Suite with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Peterson wrote in his online journal: “It was a satisfying but strange feeling... to hear a new young voice make some exhilarating and thoughtful solos in the spaces that I used to occupy in those pieces…I look forward to hearing more from him.” In 2011, he premiered John Clayton’s new arrangement of Rhapsody In Blue at the Fujitsu-Concord Festival.
Having received awards from ASCAP and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Tamir Hendelman was musical director was for the Lovewell Institute, a national arts education non-profit organization. He has also become a first-rate arranger and accompanist for some of today’s premier vocalists, such as Natalie Cole, Roberta Gambarini, and Jackie Ryan. He has accompanied Barbra Streisand in her return to jazz on Love Is The Answer (Columbia, 2009), at the Village Vanguard as well as on her 2012 North American orchestral tour. He also musically directed classical vocalist Julia Migenes’ genre-bending 2005 release, Alter Ego.
Since 2005, Tamir Hendelman has been on the jazz faculty of UCLA and has conducted numerous workshops in universities and music programs in the US and abroad. In 2013, his music wasorchestrated for The Penfield Commission Project, which he performed alongside a jazz orchestra and a 115-member studio orchestra. He has also recently arranged and recorded for artists such as trumpeter Claudio Roditi, accordionist Richard Galliano and violinist Christian Howes. In 2014, he performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with the Winston-Salem Symphony.
Tamir Hendelman has released two recordings as a leader of his trio: Playground (Swing Bros, 2008) and Destinations (Resonance 2010). Reaching #1 on the jazz charts, Destinations takes listeners along on a voyage of musical discovery. The music ranges from originals to Jobim, Keith Jarrett and Maurice Ravel. “Destinations to me is not only about the places I have traveled to, but also about the journey of being a jazz musician.”
“There are many fine pianists with impressive technique and swing who are convincing in a number of styles and play with real feeling. What increasingly distinguishes Hendelman is his gift for imaginative arranging…. He will compose an introduction that makes it difficult to predict what follows, but seems perfectly suited—even organic—once the tune begins.” (www.allaboutjazz.com)