Mr. Abrams is one of the most highly respected musicians in the contemporary music scene. He is co-founder of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founder of The AACM School of Music, and the first recipient of the grand international jazz award, The JazzPar Prize, by the Danish Jazz Center (1990).
Except for a brief period of study at the Chicago Musical College and Governors State University in Chicago where he studied electronic music, Abrams is predominantly a self-taught musician who, as a result of many years of observation, analysis, and practice as a performing musician, has developed a command of a variety of musical styles both as a pianist and composer. Abrams and members of the AACM are responsible for some of the most original new music approaches of the last three decades.
Abram’s compositions have been commissioned and /or performed by New Band, The Rova Saxophone Quartet, The String Trio of New York, the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, Ursula Oppens, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Cassatt String Quartet, and countless others. He has recorded and toured the United States, Canada and Europe with his orchestra, sextet, quartet, duo and as a solo pianist. His musical affiliations include Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, Clifford Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Woody Shaw,0Anthony Braxton, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Eddie Harris. His recordings are available on Delmark, Why Not, Black Saint, Arista Novus, UMO, and New World Records.