Biography

Pianist Bruce Polson has pursued his love of jazz professionally for over thirty years, performing in a variety of venues and settings in Indianapolis and central Indiana. Having listened from an early age to jazz recordings, including those of Indy greats Wes Montgomery, J.J. Johnson and Freddie Hubbard, and having been deeply moved by the beauty of the Great American Songbook exemplified by Hoosier songwriters Cole Porter and Hoagie Carmichael, Bruce set out to express himself in this extraordinary musical art form. Along the way he has taken side trips into rhythm & blues and rock & roll, but without question prefers the harmonic, rhythmic and hard-swinging splendor of the jazz idiom.

Of the many musical configurations in which Bruce has performed – solo, small ensemble, and big band - he prefers the jazz trio, consisting of piano, upright bass and drums. He feels that by blending these three essential musical instruments there can exist a graceful equilibrium, a special acoustic intimacy and a dynamic subtlety not found in other ensemble formats. Bruce points to the piano trios of Bill Evans, Hampton Hawes, Kenny Barron, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal and McCoy Tyner as examples of this musical form at its very finest.

Sam, Fred and Bruce at the Central Library Atrium in IndianapolisThe accomplished bassist Fred Withrow, along with his versatile brother Sam sitting behind the drum kit, make up two thirds of the Bruce Polson Trio. The Withrow brothers bring their rich and diverse musical backgrounds to the project, giving it depth and focus with their measured and dovetailed approach. This trio was formed in the mid-90’s and its members have performed for enthusiastic audiences at the Indy Jazz Festival, A Taste of Jazz In the Park, the Chatterbox Jazz Club, the Jazz Kitchen, the Indianapolis Artsgarden and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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