Pianist/composer/arranger Andy Roberts arrived at his approach to music and composition thru the absorption of musical styles from various eras. His influences range from jazz greats Fats Waller, Bud Powell, and Chick Corea to rockers like Professor Longhair and Rick Wakeman. He incorporates all of these music genres into his own compositions and improvisations.
Andy grew up in Lebanon, Pennsylvania and began playing gigs at the age of 14. By high school, he was playing regularly with country, hard rock, and jazz groups. In addition to extensive classical studies, Roberts began refining his understanding of contemporary music. The discovery of great jazz pianists like Chick Corea and Oscar Peterson lit a true fire for him. Since then, jazz has become the foundation of his playing.
At 18, Andy began playing piano for at the Timbers Dinner Theater in Mt. Gretna, Pa. It was there he discovered that the theater world utilized all the skills he had been developing: sight-reading, improvisation, musical diversity. It was a natural fit.
In 1985 he attended Berklee College of Music (Boston Massachusetts) where he was awarded the Joe Zawinul Scholarship. Berklee offered the means and inspiration to take his musical journey further even after his graduation in 1989.
Currently, Andy maintains a busy schedule of music directing, performing, and writing within many formats of the music world. He freelances around Central Pa and Philadelphia. He is a prolific composer/arranger as well. His latest recording, “Reach for the Sky” is a combination of original music, standards and and re-imagined arrangements of a few rock classics for piano trio and quintet.
Roberts has arranged extensively for his group, “The Four Piece Quartet”. They play jazz arrangements of hymns and other inspirational songs. Andy co-leads the band, “New World Parade” with guitarist Scott Nelson. This 5 piece fusion-based group plays original music influenced by groups like Steely Dan and Tribal Tech. Since 2000, he has been music leader for soul.com contemporary worship at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lebanon, Pa.
In the theater world, Andy has been music director for the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa since 2010. Their concert-style theatre shows are hugely popular in the area. American Music Theatre is the only theatre of its kind in the country that features both touring concerts and Original Shows. He also enjoys music directing original shows for Prima Theatre in Lancaster. Prima is known for its innovative programming.
Andy is the long-time music director for the Timbers Dinner Theater in Mount Gretna, Pa. Their musical revue-style show is truly creative and unique. The Timbers has been successfully producing shows for more than 40 years. It is home base for Andy and his family.