Eric Baumgartner received jazz degrees from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and DePaul University in Chicago. He is the author and creator of the Jazzabilities and Jazz Connection series, a related set of beginning jazz piano books for students young and old. Besides composing and maintaining a teaching studio, Eric works extensively in musical theatre and plays keyboard and guitar with several pop and jazz groups. He is also the orchestrator of several noted Willis publications, including the Teaching Little Fingers to Playseries, Popular Piano Solos and his own Jazz It Up! series. He regularly presents jazz and new music workshops on behalf of Willis Music, and has presented his unique teaching techniques in the United States, England, and Australia.
Eric grew up in a musical family in northeast Ohio where he began piano lessons at the age of seven and was as equally fascinated with Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky as he was with the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Thelonious Monk. His wide range of musical influences is reflected in his balanced approach to teaching: he finds validity in all music and works with students to help them find their own musical identity through improvising, arranging and composing.
Eric and his wife Aretta live in Atlanta, Georgia.