Once in a while…

a musician comes along with impeccable technique, deep understanding of the jazz repertoire, an innate tendency to swing and the rare ability to communicate the heart and soul of a tune to listeners. That musician is Beegie Adair. 
Jazz great Helen Merrill salutes her “inventive jazz sense, her wonderful sense of time and improvised melody.” Michael Feinstein calls her“a marvelously understated player whose interpretations of standards are just brilliant," 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” while guitarist Anthony Wilson says “Beegie has the confidence and wisdom to dispense with anything that would interfere with the telling of her story, so what she communicates feels very direct, very honest.”

Beegie Adair’s sophisticated jazz performances have made her recordings among the biggest sellers in the jazz genre. With 2 million albums sold and sold out performances internationally, the Beegie Adair Trio is one of the most successful working groups in the world. 

Jazz fans around the world agree with critics about Adair’s sophisticated and  listenable jazz performances, and have made her recordings among the biggest sellers in the jazz world.

Bobbe Long “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 Kentucky 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 on The Johnny Cash television show, the Ralph Emery Show and the WSM Noon Show broadcast in Nashville.

During her 65-year career, she was a sought-after studio musician, Adair contributed to the recordings such legendary performers as Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Clifton Davis, Henry Mancini, Delbert McClinton, Joe Williams, Chet Atkins, Lucille Ball, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, Mandy Barnett, Ray Stevens, Boots Randolph, Hank Garland, Mama Cass Elliott, Peggy Lee and many others.

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.

Adair has appeared on well over 100 albums, with more than 35 studio albums recorded with her trio mates, bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown over the last 25 years.  The repertoire ranged 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 2 million albums sold, the Beegie Adair Trio was one of the most successful, respected working jazz trios in the world.

In the late 80s, Beegie hosted Improvised Thoughts, a popular radio talk/music show for NPR, 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, Urbie Green and Jim Ferguson 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.

Ms. Adair received many accolades over the course of her career, including being honored as an international “Jazz Hero” by Jazz Journalist Association, induction into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Fame; the Cave City, KY Hall of Fame; and was the inaugural Heritage Award recipient from the Nashville Jazz Workshop in Nashville, TN. In 2012, she was appointed a Kentucky Colonel by KY Gov. Steve Beshear.  Additionally, her hometown named dedicated the Beegie Adair Community Center in her honor for her many contributions to music, education and her hometown community.

The Beegie Adair Trio performed in jazz clubs and at festivals around the world, and in 2010, the trio was the top selling jazz artist in Japan. Since 2011, Beegie delighted her fans in New York, with annual appearances at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, with her trio and vocalist Monica Ramey and, in 2016, added Feinstein’s/54 Below with Monica Ramey to her resume.  In January 2017, the Trio sold out their debut at London’s famous Pizza Express jazz club and returning for two nights in 2018. Her solo concerts at Steinway & Sons galleries across the United States sold out within days and attract fans from all around the world.  The Beegie Adair Trio's sold out their Carnegie Hall debut performance on October 7th, 2016, the first appearance by a Nashville-based jazz trio in Carnegie Hall’s history.  They returned to Carnegie in October 2017 for a second sold-out appearance and appeared annually, each October.

Beegie resided in Franklin, TN.  She and her Trio held a residency at the Nashville Jazz Workshop, where she was also a Board Member Emeritus.

Awards & Honors

International Jazz Hero–Jazz Journalist Association 2013

Inducted into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels–Commonwealth of Kentucky 2013

“Beegie Adair Day”–Barren County, KY May 11, 2013

Beegie Adair Community Center dedicated–Cave City, KY 2013

Heritage Award –Nashville Jazz Workshop 2008

Hall of Distinguished Alumni–Western Kentucky University 2006

Cave City Hall of Fame–Cave City, KY 2004

Steinway Artist Roster–New York 2002

Wall of Fame–Western Kentucky University 2002

Jazz Album of the Year–Nashville Music Awards 1998

"A treasure in this town for decades. Still cooler than the breeze.” -Robert K. Oermann, Music Row

“Beegie’s piano work is very much like Sinatra’s vocal style-finely crafted, elegantly nonchalant, subtle yet interesting, and always swinging." -Jazz and Blues News

“The interpretations are very stylish while retaining the classic flavor that each piece SHOULD convey.” -JazzUSA

“American standards alive and kicking.” -Indie-Music.com

"Adair’s style is simple, direct and effective. Smooth sailing all the way.” -Cam Miller, The American Rag

“Pianist Beegie Adair will take you back to the days when songs were judged by the beauty of the melody.” -Richard Bourcier, JazzReview.com 

“She educates through her recordings.” -Drew Walen, City Paper 

"Spiced up, warm and jazzy interpretations. Her piano playing and the solid musicianship of her band, make for a solid performance.” -The Critical Review

“[Dream Dancing is] a testament to Beegie’s inventive jazz sense, her wonderful sense of time and improvised melody.”-Helen Merrill, legendary jazz singer

"By the time the opening suspended harmonies of “The Lamp Is Low” filled my room, I was hooked. I pretty much stopped everything else I was doing and let the record spin until the music stopped. There’s great vitality, generosity, and authenticity in this live set, plus many moments of shimmering beauty. Beegie has the confidence and wisdom to dispense with anything that would interfere with the telling of her story, so what she communicates feels very direct, very honest. She’s beautifully supported here by Roger and Chris, and as a group they transition effortlessly between dreamlike moods, playful swing, and deep-rooted grooves. Our spirits want to dance, and music like this reminds us of that.” -Anthony Wilson, jazz guitarist/composer/arranger/educator (regarding “The Real Thing”)

"Having grown up in an era when live jazz recordings were commonplace, I believe the organic difference created when performing in front of an audience is really magical. With the new CD, Beegie has proven this once again. It’s a genuine pleasure to hear her, along with Roger and Chris, relax, stretch out and share their real-time experience with us. I enjoyed from first note to last.” -Jeff Steinberg, composer/arranger (regarding “The Real Thing”)

"I’ve had the great pleasure of Beegie’s music in my ear and in my heart for many decades, yet hearing her new live trio C.D. is as fresh and engaging as if I were just discovering her. A fine sampling of all things Beegie – swinging, introspective, and always full of beauty. In the company of her perfect trio-mates Roger and Chris, Beegie gives us music that is indeed, “The Real Thing.” -George Tidwell, jazz trumpeter/arranger (regarding “The Real Thing”)

"A timeless sound, the Beegie Adair Trio takes you on an effervescent ride of rhythm and harmony; a trip so enjoyable you won’t want it to end. The Real Thing is well…“the real thing”! Be prepared to press the repeat button often.” -Jennifer Gordon, Steinway & Sons (regarding “The Real Thing”)

"There was a brief period in the late 1950s and very early ’60s when Capitol sagely paired George Shearing with a succession of the label’s top vocalists, including Peggy Lee, Dakota Staton, Nancy Wilson and Nat King Cole. The results were uniformly wonderful, setting a standard for sophistication that has, until now, never quite been equaled. But in Monica Ramey and Beegie Adair, Shearing and company have finally met their match.” -Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes