"Rosewoman’s piano playing draws equally from the bluesy drama of Randy Weston and the ardent yet grounded freedom of Cecil Taylor…(her) music unites players with distinct personalities into a communal voice, much in the mold of Mingus or Ellington, even as she adheres to Afro Cuban traditions. It sounds bold, swinging ceremonial and formal-all at once, in many cases. The music had both stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."

Larry Blumenfeld, JAZZIZ

For four decades, pianist/composer/educator Michele Rosewoman has expanded the horizons of jazz while remaining firmly rooted in tradition.  A fearless bandleader and mentor, many have cited that working with Rosewoman made an indelible mark on their artistic development as musicians, composers and bandleaders.

To date, Ms. Rosewoman has released 9 recordings as a leader on Blue Note, Enja, SoulNote, Toshiba-EMI and her own label, Advance Dance Disques. Her long-standing Quintessence ensemble (with 5 highly acclaimed releases to date) has consistently brought together the most inventive voices in jazz (Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Gary Thomas, Miguel Zenon, Steve Lehman, Steve Wilson, Mark Shim; Robin Eubanks, Lonnie Plaxico, Brad Jones, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tyshawn Sorey, Liberty Ellman). Her New Yor-Uba ensemble, which debuted at NYC’s Public Theatre in 1983, presents an uncompromised synthesis of contemporary jazz and traditional Cuban folkloric music, uniting master musicians from both worlds.

"...one of the most impressive and innovative of [modern] jazz artists. She is both an engaging composer and a challenging pianist."


Having celebrated 30 years with a 2013 double disc release that garnered the #1 NPR Latin Jazz Recording of the year award, New Yor-Uba now celebrates 35 years of evolution with their latest recording, “Hallowed”– a ground-breaking project released November 1, 2019-to stellar reviews in major publications including JazzTimes, JazzIz, Downbeat and #3 NPR Latin Jazz Recording of the Year.


Born in Oakland CA, Michele Rosewoman began playing piano at age 6 and was deeply influenced by the great jazz pianist/organist Ed Kelly.  Early studies in percussion and Cuban folklore profoundly impacted her approach as a pianist and composer. 

Rosewoman moved to New York in 1978 and has performed with many renowned New York-based jazz and Latin artists including Julian Priester, Jimmy Heath, Billy Harper, Julius Hemphill, Baikida Carroll, Oliver Lake, Rufus Reid, Reggie Workman, Freddie Waits, Gary Bartz, James Spaulding, Billy Hart, Carlos Ward, Billy Bang, Celia Cruz, Paquito D’Rivera, Chocolate, Orlando ‘Puntilla’ Rios, Roman Diaz, Daniel Ponce, Pedrito Martinez, Nicky Marrero, Andy Gonzales and many others.


Her innovative projects have received critical acclaim and prestigious grants.  Highlights include major support from the National Endowment for the Arts (1983) giving birth to her New Yor-Uba ensemble, and an ASCAP/Meet the Composer Commission for Emerging Composers (1984) awarded by Dizzy Gillespie, Marian McPartland and Lester Bowie. This award culminated in a new work premiered by the 40-piece Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra plus quintet of improvisers at the Cooper Union Great Hall, NYC and the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, NY.  Over the years, Rosewoman received Chamber Music America New Works Creation and Presentation Commissions (2015, 2008, 2006, 2003), 2020 Jazz Coalition and Mutual Mentorship for Musicians commisions and a 2021 South Arts Jazz Roads Residency Grant wich gave birth to a multi-fraceted project, “A Function at The Junction: Ancestral Bridge, Musical Streams.  In 2016, Rosewoman became a Latin Jazz Grammy Winner as pianist and composer for her creative contribution to Arturo O’Farrill’s ALJO release, “Cuba, the Conversation Continues.”

Ms. Rosewoman has presented her various ensembles at jazz festivals, concert halls, clubs and universities throughout the world.  Currently, she is a board member at Chamber Music America and remains an active and dedicated educator, conducting intensive workshops and residencies in a variety of settings. She teaches piano and composition privately,  has held past positions at NYU and the New School, and currently serves on faculty at The New School and The Jazz House Kids program  in Montclair, NJ, teaching theory, piano, composition and ensemble