Andrew Links - Piano & Keyboards
Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist, educator, and composer based in Rochester, New York. Presently, he is enrolled at the Eastman School of Music for Jazz Piano Performance. Andrew began playing violin in the 5th grade, quickly moving to guitar, drums, and alto saxophone, and finally to piano by high school. For several years, Andrew studied piano under APA Jazz Fellowship Finalist Zach Lapidus and Royce Thrush, while also taking occasional lessons from pianists Luke Gillespie, Kevin Hays, and guitarists Paul Bollenback, and Jim Kimsey. Andrew has since continued his jazz piano studies with Harold Danko, and Dariusz Terefenko (Eastman School of Music).
Lessons with Andrew are founded upon classical piano technique, driven by pedagogical pieces assigned to challenge each student's ability to apply the techniques learned within various musical contexts, while supporting each individual student's interest in a particular genre. Andrew views keyboard studies as an opportunity to explore Rochester Contemporary School of Music's definition of the word “contemporary.” Although a classical piano foundation is critical in Andrew's lesson plans, the use of synthesizers, organs, clavinets, wurlitzers, rhodes, and various other electric pianos is highly encouraged (instruments utilized by Ray Charles, Jan Hammer of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Stevie Wonder among others).
Students (including beginner students) will be pushed to improve through both difficult repertoire, as well as utilizing multiple keyboards onstage. In light of each student's musical interests, Andrew lets the student decide some of the repertoire and courses of certain lessons, as he is a believer that people will not study anything they have no interest in. Students interested in the study of synthesizer will transcribe guitar solos from artists such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Oz Noy, Wilco, etc. in order to master the use of techniques such as pitch bend and vibrato within particular idioms. Songwriting and composition is also highly encouraged, as Andrew's students who are enrolled in the I'm In the Bandtm program will not only be learning the formulaic structures of pop music but also be learning how to decipher them quickly—eventually applying the structures to their own music.
Andrew can be found performing regularly in Rochester, most often with his rock trio Fish God, or his acid jazz trio Totally Crushing. He also performs with other Rochester musicians such as Aaron Staebell, Dave Chisholm, Andres Rivera, Carlton Wilcox, and Wendy Eisenberg.