Born in Phoenix Arizona Garrett LIST's first musical souvenirs were of Protestant church music, the piano music of Frederic CHOPIN, the black singing group the INKSPOTS and the big silent spaces of the desert.
At seven he moved with his family to Southern California and began to participate in youth music activities as a singer and trombonist, in choirs, concert bands, and finally the symphony orchestra.
The first music that really influenced him was bebop jazz and Miles DAVIS, while evidently taking quite seriously the European masters.
At 18 years he started the university and was already making a living by playing and teaching, two activities that have continued throughout his career. It was in this period that he began studying the art of composition.
At a certain point, noticing that he could compose in almost any style but that he lacked his own voice, he stopped
playing jazz and composing to concentrate on playing classical music.
He received a scholarship to study at the famous Juilliard School of Music in New York City from which he graduated with honors. It was in New York that he met Luciano BERIO and Dennis RUSSELL DAVIES with whom he created the Juillard Ensemble.
During this period he created no music but played and listened enormously. It was then that he realized the importance of a creative life in
music, he stopped playing everything that came his way and began to compose again.
Concentrating more and more on new music, he left the "uptown" New York environment and moved "downtown"
where he met musicians like John CAGE, Frederic RZEWSKI, LaMonte YOUNG, Phillip GLASS, Rhys CHATHAM, Anthony
BRAXTON and others in the loft scene in Manhattans SoHo district. He participated in the creation of the Kitchen
Center for Video and Music and he became its music director.
He created several orchestras in New York City with which he recorded and toured extensively in America and Europe.
Since moving to Belgium in 1980, he has continued his activities as composer, performer and teacher, creating a class
of improvised music at the Conservatory in Liège, Belgium.
Composing music in all the idioms and
developing his style of World Citizens Music an eclectic blend of classical, jazz, pop songs and contemporary, his music speaks first to the music lover while opening the way for the average listener to discover a surprising world of melodies and rhythms blended with words and poems which create a sense of well being in all those who listen. As stated in many reviews, his music speaks through a multitude of styles with one strong voice.
The music of a composer who has "created a new style".
In 2001, the Ensemble makes a come-back on the scenes : concerts at the Salon Mativa (Liège), at the festival
"Sons d'Hiver" (Paris), and soon at the festival "Jazz à Liège" 2001.
He also worked for theater. In 2000, he wrote the music for the play "Rwanda '94", acclaimed by the critics and the
public, and performed in Belgium and France. He says that this has been the most stimulating musical experience in
In recent years, he formed a large ensemble, Orchestra Vivo !.
A book by Bernard Legros (in French) "Garrett List : La Musique et l'avenir" draws an interesting portrait. Read HERE.