Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jordan was recognized by his 3rd grade teacher as an exceptional piano player, and was immediately given professional tuition to enhance his prodigious talents. By the age of nine he entered the prestigious Juilliard School of Music for classical piano training, but by his late teens he had grown increasingly interested in synthesizers and progressive rock music. Against the advice and wishes of his parents and tutors, he decided to turn away from classical piano and try his hand as a solo prog rock keyboardist.
After performing in various projects during the 1980s, he gained national attention in 1994 when he was voted "Best New Talent" in the Keyboard Magazine readers' poll after the release of his Listen solo album. Two of the bands who took notice of the up and coming young star was The Dixie Dregs and Dream Theater, both of whom invited him to join their respective bands. Jordan chose the Dregs primarily because being a part time member of the band would have less of an impact on his young family, a choice he wasn't given with Dream Theater.
During his time with the Dregs, Jordan formed a so-called "power duo" with drummer Rod Morgenstein . The genesis of this pairing occurred when a power outage caused all of the Dregs' instruments to fail except Jordan's, so he and Rod improvised with each other until power was restored and the concert could continue. The chemistry between the two was so strong during this jam that they decided to perform together on a regular basis (under the name Rudess/Morgenstein Project or later RPM) and have since released a studio and a live record.
Jordan encountered Dream Theater once again when he and Morgenstein secured the support slot on one of Dream Theater's North American tours.
In 1997, when Mike Portnoy was asked to form a supergroup by Magna Carta Records, Jordan was chosen to fill the keyboardist spot in the band which also consisted of Tony Levin and Mike's Dream Theater colleague John Petrucci. During the recording of Liquid Tension Experiment's two albums, it became evident to Mike and John that Jordan was precisely what Dream Theater needed. They asked Jordan to join the band, and when he accepted they fired their then-keyboardist Derek Sherinian to make way for Jordan.
Jordan has been the full-time keyboardist in Dream Theater since the recording of 1999's Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory. He has recorded 3 other studio albums since then; 2001's Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2003's Train of Thought, and the as-yet unreleased 2005 album. In addition, he has appeared on the live albums Live Scenes From New York and Live at Budokan.
Use of technology
While most keyboard players in rock bands tend towards bringing numerous keyboards on stage, Rudess takes full advantage of the possiblities offered by the Kurzweil K2x series. Often sampling sounds from other keyboards, Rudess creates a series of setups, each of which maps different sounds to different layers and key ranges of the keyboard controller; these setups are then arranged in the order they will be required for a gig, and cycled through one at a time with a control pedal.
- Arrival (CD) (1988)
- Listen (CD) (1993)
- Secrets of the Muse (CD) (1997)
- Resonance (CD) (1999)
- Feeding the Wheel (CD) (2001)
- 4NYC (CD) (2002)
- Christmas Sky (CD) (2002)
- Rhythm of Time (CD) (2004)
With Dream Theater
- Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory (CD) (1999)
- Live Scenes From New York (DVD/3CD) (2001)
- Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2CD) (2002)
- Train of Thought (CD) (2003)
- Live at Budokan (2DVD/3CD) (2004)
- Octavarium (CD) (2005)
- Rudess/Morgenstein Project (CD) (1999)
- An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess (CD) (2001)
- Rudess/Morgenstein Project - The Official Bootleg (CD) (2001)
With Liquid Tension Experiment
- Vinnie Moore - Time Odyssey (1988)
- Noirin Ni Riain - Celtic Soul (1996)
- Rhonda Larson - Free as a bird (1999)
- Paul Winter and The Earth Band - Journey With The Sun (2000)
- Scott McGill - Addition by Substraction (2001)
- Prefab Sprout - The Gunman And Other Stories (2001)
- David Bowie - Heathen (2002)
- Jupiter - Echo and Art (2003)
- Speedway Boulevard - Speedway Boulevard (CD) (1981)
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