Since embarking on a solo career in 1994, Gary Motley has been at the forefront of jazz in the southeastern United States, establishing himself as both a keyboard virtuoso and composer.
His captivating high energy performances transport audiences back in time as Gary Motley blends musicianship, creativity and tradition. From straight ahead to chamber music and occasional creations of symphonic works, Gary has explored many genres of music in his career while maintaining a relentless standard of excellence. Recognized by Downbeat Magazine, The American Composers Forum, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Gary was recently cited by his home state for his artistic and educational achievements with his induction into the Alabama jazz Hall of Fame.
Gary began studying the piano as a young child and would later be exposed to jazz as a teenager. During his college years, Gary honed his skills as a jazz pianist, playing with numerous regional bands. It was soon thereafter that he would decide to make music his life’s endeavor. During his career, Gary has established a professional association with many of today’s leaders in jazz. Featured on Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland, He has worked with artists from Dave Brubeck to Peter Erskine. His discography boasts numerous projects beginning with his premiere recording Peaceful Moments to his 2019 duet recording Soulful Equanimity with saxophonist Teodross Avery.
Gary’s exceptional skill as a performer is equally parallel with his prowess as a composer. His portfolio includes compositions and arrangements for varied musical settings from solo piano and trio, to works for larger ensembles including choir, chorus, big band, and orchestra. He has premiered works at numerous national and international festivals.
In addition to his work as an artist, Gary is committed to jazz education, serving as Professor of Performance and Director of Jazz Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.