On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor 10pm - 1am
2 July 2019, 15:02
In case appearing in the highest-grossing films of his time isn’t enough, turns out ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Fly’ actor Jeff Goldblum is also a dab hand at the piano.
Jeff Goldblum is everyone’s favourite mathematician-slash-meme from Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 film, Jurassic Park, but he’s also so much more than that – and it’s particularly great news for music fans.
Turns out Goldblum is a pretty brill jazz pianist, and for years has played with his own jazz ensemble, the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (Mildred Snitzer was a friend of Goldblum's mum's, by all accounts). He released a studio album with them in 2018 called The Capitol Studios Sessions.
The album smashed the Billboard charts, jumping to No. 1 in the US Jazz Album chart.
Goldblum has been playing the piano for over 30 years and is releasing a second studio with the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra later this year.
In his jazz pianist guise, the actor has been surprising and delighting fans with musical appearances for years, including on The Larry Sanders Show a few years back (see below) and at London’s St Pancras Station, where he jumped onto a communal piano to surprise commuters with a spontaneous rendition of jazz standard, ‘Cantaloupe Island’ (below).
Most recently he appeared at Glastonbury 2019, where his orchestra surprised the crowd with a jazz Jurassic Park cover at the end of the set.
Speaking to The New York Times, Goldblum explains that he picked up the piano at a young age: “I’m from Pittsburgh and was one of four kids, so our parents got us music lessons, very wisely and nicely and life-changing-ly,” he says.
“I had a facility for it. But I didn’t yet know the joys of discipline”.
After a couple of years of vague commitment to lessons, it took an intro to jazz to really focus our Jeff.
“[My teacher] gave me a piece to learn that was kind of jazzy. ‘Alley Cat’ and then ‘Stairway to the Stars’, maybe ‘Deep Purple’, with some interesting harmonies, chords, that were not in the exercises that I’d been doing.
“That did something to my innards. That’s when I got better, because I wanted to learn that thing.”
We’re very glad he did.
Listen to Goldblum’s album The Capitol Studios Sessions on Spotify here.