Jazz great Helen Merrill salutes her “inventive jazz sense, her wonderful sense of time and improvised melody.”

Christopher Louden of Jazz Times magazine says Adair is “an accomplished artist with a delicate touch.”

The Los Angeles Times calls her music “Elegant.”

Entertainment News writes, “Beegie Adair is one of the finest piano players in the world.”


So are thousands of jazz fans, who agree with critics about Adair’s sophisticated and listenable jazz performances, and who have made her recordings among the biggest sellers in the jazz world.
Beegie Adair grew up in Cave City, Kentucky, where she began taking piano lessons at age five. She continued to study piano throughout college, earning a B.S. in Music Education at Western State University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. During and after college, she played in jazz bands, and spent three years teaching music to children before moving to Nashville, where she became a session musician, working at WSM-TV and on The Johnny Cash Show (1969-71). A sought-after studio musician in her early days there, Adair accompanied such legendary performers as Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, Lucille Ball, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, Mama Cass Elliott and Peggy Lee.
She and her husband, Billy Adair, also started a jingle company to write music for commercials. In 1982, she and saxophonist Denis Solee formed the Adair-Solee Quartet, which evolved into the Be-Bop Co-Op, a jazz sextet. She made her first album under her own name, Escape to New York, with a rhythm section consisting of Bob Cranshaw and Gregory Hutchinson.
Ms. Adair cites George Shearing, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner among her influences; Adair has appeared on over 100 albums (34 of which are studio recordings with her trio), ranging from Cole Porter standards to Frank Sinatra classics to romantic World War II ballads. Her 6-CD Centennial Composers Collection of tunes by Rodgers, Gershwin, Kern, Ellington, Carmichael and Berlin became an instant collectible classic upon its release.

Her first live album, “The Real Thing,” spent over 12 weeks in the Top 20 on the JazzWeek charts and was named one of the “Top 100 Best Jazz Albums” of 2012. With over 1.5 million albums sold, the Beegie Adair Trio is one of the most successful, respected working trios in the world.
In the late 90s, Beegie hosted Improvised Thoughts, a popular radio talk/music show on the local NPR affiliate, featuring local and international jazz artists including such greats as Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson and Helen Merrill. She has guested on McPartland’s internationally known Piano Jazz show twice and has performed with Nat Adderley, Bill Watrous, Lew Tabackin, Terry Clarke and Urbie Green among many others. In 2002, Beegie joined one of the most exclusive rosters in the world when she became a Steinway Artist. An honor only bestowed upon 1,600 pianists in the world including Lang Lang, Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Legrand, Billy Joel and the “immortals” like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein.
Among her many accolades, she has been inducted into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Fame, The Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Western, the Cave City, KY Hall of Fame and was the inaugural Heritage Award recipient from the Nashville Jazz Workshop in Nashville, TN. In 2013 she was honored as an international “Jazz Hero” by Jazz Journalist Association and was appointed a Kentucky Colonel by KY Gov. Steve Beshear. Additionally, her hometown dedicated the Beegie Adair Community Center in her honor for her many contributions to music, education and her hometown community.
She and her trio continue to play in jazz clubs and festivals around the world and were the top selling jazz artist in Japan in 2010. Since 2011, Beegie has received a very warm welcome from her fans in New York, with her multiple appearances at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, with her trio and vocalist Monica Ramey.
Beegie currently lives in Franklin, TN. She is a Board & Faculty member of the Nashville Jazz Workshop and performs regularly in Nashville.

24 Responses to Bio

  1. sirken says:

    yo= just purchased a yamaha disc player from v village here in timmins ontario-the heart of gold and girth of montana stakes- gold or cow as the weight of miners is an inverse or if you are poetic an in verse ratio to the value of the size of gold pellets to the size of pea pellets or extensions of girths as the result of consumption of dead bodyies-not too far removed from the desire of zombies -if indeed they do exist-well mona might have thought this as in her virtue she was a painted person-but it is pristine melody and logic nourishing me and bringing me back to the beauty of beegie’s
    ‘ perfection-sorta like meditating on the best of all possibilties without strife-mozart plays nat cole-sirken

  2. ChuckGG says:

    I first heard Ms. Adair on YouTube and was very impressed! It is so rare these days to find such beautiful piano and jazz. I joined the mailing list. I hope you come to the Washington, DC, area to play. We have a number of great venues. Thank you for the wonderful music.

  3. dale taylor says:

    great piano

  4. Marilyn says:

    From the first time I heard your music, I wanted your sheet music…I have George Shearing, Diana Krall sheet music and love to play their renditions…As a very mature woman, please don’t wait toooo long, so I can enjoy your music first hand….Marilyn

  5. Cab Elvis says:

    Hello Beegie, this is an attempt to get another copy of “Love, Elvis” we met in Seattle in 2001, I was the cab driver dressed up like Elvis and you helped me choose a name and sent me a cd care of the cab company I was driving for. my current address is 17715 se 261 st. covington wa. 98042 my phone is 206-307-7897

  6. Prithviraj. V says:

    Hello Beegie,
    Heard you on one of the internet radio stations and then saw some videos on You Tube. Truly amazing! Love your kind of music and playing. Am going to buy all your CDs. You indeed are a gifted artist!


  7. Hank Biggs says:

    Beegie, I am ashamed to admit I had never heard of you until I heard you on Verizon’s TV music. I am 73 years old! Shame on me! I am smitten by your skill, and am ordering CD’s as fast as my wallet will allow! I hear George Shearing’s and Bill Evans’ influence very clearly. I met them both – wish I had met you! Thank you for your incredible interpretation of each and every song.


  8. maritimejack says:

    Beegie, I only recently became aware of your music on T.V.Music A.T.&T Uverse, All the radio stations in my area play irritating rock litter, consequently I don’t patronize them. I played an Instrument in my youth, thus leaned about quality music, I would compare your jazz style to say Sinatra’s Swinging vocals, or Pavarotti’s classical style, just FANTASTIC. Sincerely a Neo-Connecticut fan at 75 years young,

  9. Charlie Roy says:

    Beegie… you do honor to the American Songbook… smooth, direct, and your play evokes the mood and emotions that music should to the listener… 1/2 of my Amazon mp3 downloads are yours :-)

  10. Shubes says:

    Wow… I am impressed, and with the plethora of so-called “jazz pianists” today, I’m not easily impressed. I discovered your music on Jazz FM, listening to your Jazz Piano Christmas music. It so impressed me that I had to glance at my iPhone to see who I was listening to; did a quick search in the iTunes Store to see if “Beegie Adair” had any non-holiday stuff, and turns out, there was plenty. I listened to several samples, and immediately added them all to my iTunes WishList. Afterwards, I decided to Google “Beegie Adair” and expected pretty much anything other than a…mature…lady from Kentucky! Wow, wow, and WOW! Thank you for sharing your gift! You have made this 50-year old “play-by-ear-and-any-other-way-I-can-knock-it-out” guy very happy, and renewed my passion for jazz piano! You’ve also found a home on my iPhone!

  11. William H. Hoevet says:

    Brilliant! Beautiful lyrical style, perfection in touch and she works with soloists like nobody else I’ve heard “tickle the ivories.” When she plays with Solee or Jezzro, it’s ensemble extraordinaire.

  12. Rachel & Peter Bennett says:

    Dear Beegie,

    We absolutely LOVE your beautiful music!!! We listen to it on Time Warner’s “Music Choice” and love the wide variety of songs you play! My wife Rachel is a very accomplished piano/organ player and teacher, so we can appreciate your impeccable accuracy, cord structure, and beautiful lyrical phrasings of jazz music!! If ever you have a concert in Portland, Maine, we will be first in line!!! Musically yours, Rachel & Peter

  13. Dan and Faye Harlow says:

    I have been working on our genealogy and my wife, the former Faye Wheeler, has Adairs in her family line. She grew up in Arkansas, but we know her Adairs spent time in Kentucky. Incidentally, we have a granddaughter in Nashville who graduated from Belmont and is a professional musician. We enjoy your music very much!

  14. Holly G says:

    I just discovered your work while listening to “Music Choice” on their Holiday Classics. It was snowing and I had it on in the background for some seasonal cheer. Your arrangement of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” came on, and I stopped dead in my tracks. Love!!! I’ve been playing piano since I was a little girl (and I still take lessons at 43!), and I know a fantastic arrangement and great talent when I hear it. I’m listening to your extensive collection on youtube, and I had to take a moment to say thank you for sharing your talents with us. I’m going to pick up my favorites from iTunes. Thank you again!! Keep playing!! <3

  15. Rosemary Bolton says:

    I love your playing. I wish I spent 12 years playing the piano instead of ice dancing…. what have I got to show for that?
    Do you have sheet music? I would love to play just like you.
    Thank you for sharing your talent and lovely music

  16. Judy Page Hunt says:

    Hi, Beegie!!! I am certain Mother would be so proud of you. You are absolutely the best jazz pianist I have heard since Mother died…and that is saying a lot. I am building a collection of your CD’s and enjoy them so much. Keep up the recording, please! I would love to see you some time. If I ever get down your way, maybe we can have dinner and talk about the “good old times” in Cave City.


  17. COL Charles Reilly says:

    What a joy it is to hear you and your music on MC here in Florida. I was a young draftee stationed near New Orleans in the early 1950s. I was blessed to see and hear so many of the jazz greats perform there. Your artistry is right up there with the legends, Ms. Adair. Long may you play!!!!!

    Wishing you everything good..

    Charles Reilly

    • geebeedoc says:

      I’m a great fan. I play “by ear” many years and greatly appreciate your style. Do you give lessons or
      classes or a workshop ? I’d travel in necessary. Thanks. GB

  18. Jens Vindeby says:

    Late night. Programming complicated software while listening to jazz from Spotify with my recently aquired hi-fi headphones.
    Suddenly I had to stop.
    You played and caught all my attention.
    Never heard anything like it. Wonderful. Thank you.
    You’ve got a new fan now.

  19. Dale Ziegler says:

    Beegie, I,m a painter, not a musician Have always traveled in my working years and spent many evenings in piano bars, some good-some npt so good. But n my 93 years, i never heard anything like your sensitive touch , yes I said 93, hoping to make 100.

  20. SangWook Park says:

    Your music, smooth and elegant, makes me still alive.

  21. Frank Prager says:

    My dear Miss Beegie,

    While somewhat of a devotee to really excellent piano artists it was only recently (about 10 years ago) that I first heard your album of Frank Sinatra classics. That did it–I became a BIG time fan of yours only to find that many of my friends were already “on board”–so to speak.

    Two items–just a few months ago I introduced your playing to our youngest daughter (now 52). She’s now “on board”, too.

    Also–and my wife of 66 years, Nancy, and I can hardly wait– we’ll be seeing you at the Steinway Studio’s here in Alpharetta, GA on June 11, along with some friends. We’re counting the seconds!!

    FYI–Johnny Costa–from our home town of Pittsburgh–is also a favorite of ours. But your style is so musically rhapsodist one can just listen for hours as your arrangements are so varied.

    Really looking forward to June 11.

    Frank Prager

  22. John Riskas says:

    On a warm spring day in 2000, I flew into the small airport on Catalina Island. The old airport is right out of the Art Deco era. I had lunch, browsed the airport shop and found an obscure Sinatra songs CD by someone named Beegie Adair. I had never heard of her, but bought it anyway, and then flew my Cessna back to Van Nuys.
    That was over a decade ago, and I have been hooked on her ever since.
    Her music goes with me everywhere, and I never tire of her elegance.
    Her works herald a charm and grace, that unfortunately is so rare to find these days.
    She is a national treasure. Listen to any of her works, I’m sure you’ll concur.

  23. Clara Worthy says:

    Beegie From The 1st Time I Heard You Play I Was Captivated By Your Style And With The Smoothness You Play. You Made Me Run Back To My Piano. I am going to learn to play again because of You. I am having trouble trying to remember how to play again due to my brain surgery but with determination and You I Know That I Can Do It….. Thank You So Much For Your Gift Of Playing The Piano So Grandly………. I Wish You All The Best With Your Future Endeavors…..

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