Jazz and Brazilian pianist Terrigal Burn.

Terrigal Burn

Hiking in the remotest wilds of Australia, Terrigal’s parents were drawn to a cave by a faint high pitched keening—lupine, yet with fragments reminiscent of “Moose the Mooch”*. There they discovered Terrigal, a wee baby in a small den, howling in 3-part harmony with his dingo siblings over their ailing dingo mother, and brought him to civilization. From this crucible Terrigal’s two loves--jazz and medicine, emerged.


When he was five, and his parents realized that Terrigal’s howls were harmonically sophisticated but would never get him to Carnegie Hall, they introduced him to the piano. Then began the daily grind (including on Christmas morning!) of piano practice, under the hawk-like gaze and sharp ruler of Madame Grenouille, the first of several strict teachers who helped steer him away from the classical repertoire.


At age 13, offered the choice between stopping the piano altogether, or moving from classical to a different genre, Terrigal embraced jazz, partly for love of jazz, partly a rebellion against the parental yoke--his father once remarked that the later works of John Coltrane were offensive to his ears, characterizing the sounds as those that might come from a pig being stuck with a knife. (A perspective Terrigal does not share).


Since then, he’s had the privilege of studying (sometimes all too briefly!) with Charlie Mariano, Ray Santisi, Conrad Herwig, George Cables, Jeff Hamilton, Terrell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Geoff Keezer, Don Haas, Anton Schwartz, and Smith Dobson.


He now plays in a variety of venues, jazz and Brazilian repertoires, as a soloist and in small groups.


Terrigal has performed solo piano work on two CDs:


  • A Controlled Burn

  • Cabin in the Woods


* Charlie Parker, composer