Pianista and composer Carmen Staaf has performed and recorded with some of the most influential and important musicians of our era. Her past major performances have included the Playboy Jazz Festival in a two-piano setting with the legendary Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Kennedy Center alongside Kenny Barron and Fred Hersch.
After spending some years touring and recording while based in New York, Staaf was accepted to the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Staaf co-leads the group Science Fair with drummer Allison Miller; the band's eponymous debut album features Ambrose Akinmusire, Dayna Stephens and Matt Penman. She also performs regularly with Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, violinist Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller’s Parlour Game (with Tony Scherr), drummer Jeff Williams, and vocalist/composer Thana Alexa, among many others.
Currently, Staaf is the pianist and Musical Director for NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater. She has held faculty positions at Berklee College of Music, the New School, Stanford Jazz Institute, Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (Chennai, India), Jacob’s Pillow, Litchfield Jazz Camp, and the New York Jazz Academy, and has led masterclasses around the globe.