About the Artists
"Gene Knific is a multi-talented and unique pianist/composer, whose music fuses varied elements in fascinating and compelling ways. He is an engaging artist on a great trajectory." -Shelly Berg, Grammy©-nominated pianist, composer, and arranger
Gene Knific is a pianist, composer, and producer based in Chicago, IL. Gene is the recipient of 8 Down Beat Music Awards for his performances and compositions in jazz and contemporary categories, Two ASCAP Young Jazz Composers awards, and the University of Miamis Patricia Frost Top Graduate award in 2014. Knific has performed worldwide presenting an extensive and diverse repertoire with a wide array of artists. Recent highlights include performances with saxophone legend Joe Lovano in 2014, Macarthur Genius Grant recipient Miguel Zenón, and three performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program. His talents have brought him on tours to Russia at The St. Petersburg Conservatory and Jazz Philharmonic, the Copenhagen Opera House and Montmartre Jazzhus in Denmark, the Xiquitsi International Music Festival in Mozambique, and The Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.
Led by Knific, The Gene Knific Trio is an adventurous group dedicated to original works and unique explorations of classical and modern genres. The group features Knifics award winning compositions and arrangements (ASCAP, Downbeat Magazine). Their repertoire spans from jazz classics, to 20th century classical compositions, to pop, rock and folk music explorations. The GKT has had a three year residency performing at the Elkhart Jazz Festival, opened the 2014 Fontana Chamber Arts Summer Series in Kalamzoo Michigan, and has performed at the Amelia Island Jazz Festival in Florida along with countless other venues in the Midwest and South Florida areas. Proven by their concert history, The Gene Knific Trios attractive and accessible performances reach an extremely wide age range and are suitable for outdoor series, festivals, jazz events, and chamber music series.
Contributing to the trio are Chicago veteran musicians Matt Ulery on bass and Jon Deitemyer on drums. Ulery has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Phil Markowitz, Jimmy Chamberlin, Fareed Haque, Howard Levy, Patricia Barber, Goran Ivanovic, Jeff Parker, Zach Brock, and many others. As a composer, Ulery has collaborated with ensembles such as eighth blackbird and the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago. Chicagojazz.com says: Jon Deitemyer has earned a reputation as a must-hear drummer and doesn't disappoint. He has performed and recorded with Zach Brock, Phil Markowitz, Ben Paterson (MaxJazz), Grazyna Auguscik (EMI), and countless others.
Chicago-based bassist/composer and bandleader, Matt Ulery, has developed an instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery's music is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, and folk specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles. He performs not only on upright and electric bass, but doubles on tuba. Ulery has produced and released 6 albums of all original music under his name including his three most recent releases of critical acclaim, "By a Little Light," "Wake an Echo," and "In the Ivory," on Dave Douglas's Greenleaf Music record label in 2012-2014. Ulery has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Phil Markowitz, Jimmy Chamberlin, Fareed Haque, Howard Levy, Patricia Barber, Goran Ivanovic, Jeff Parker and many others. As a composer, Ulery has collaborated with ensembles such as eighth blackbird and the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago. When not touring parts of the U.S. and Europe, Matt appears regularly in the Chicago area music venues and has performed with his groups at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion, Chicago Cultural Center, The Krannert Center, Blues Alley, Jazz Showcase, The Metro and countless other fine music listening rooms.
Jon Deitemyer has quickly earned his place among a new breed of creative, expressive jazz drummers. Grammy-winning singer Patricia Barber raves: “Jon Deitemyer is the drummer everybody wants right now…” and Chicagojazz.com says: “Jon Deitemyer has earned a reputation as a must-hear drummer and doesn't disappoint.” He graduated summa cum laude from the esteemed University of North Texas and spent substantial time at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In only a short professional career, Jon has performed and recorded with Patricia Barber, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Matt Ulery’s Loom, Grazyna Auguscik, Zach Brock, Ben Paterson, and countless others. Jon released his debut album “Collected Shorts” in 2010. Mr. Deitemyer's performances have taken him all over the United States, as well as South Korea, Brazil, Poland, Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Canada. Recordings of his drumming can be heard on the Concord, Greenleaf, Origin, and MaxJazz labels. In addition, Jon’s role in music education has grown rapidly: he has earned an Illinois Arts Council grant for education through the Plato School. He is also an active educator, with teaching positions at Loyola University Chicago and the Chicago Academy for the Arts.