Eric Dries is a pianist, improviser, composer and educator who explores the innovative fields between traditional jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary classical music. His work explores a wide range of stylistic practices from jazz and contemporary music worlds in diverse performance situations. Dries is interested in expanding experimental ideas while honoring the fundamental tenets of the jazz tradition. His solo piano performances reinterpret and invigorate the tradition of jazz standards with a foundation of rhythmic experimentation and harmonic and melodic expansion. Dries has performed and recorded with some of the top studio and freelance musicians in southern California where he is in high demand at high profile performance venues. Dries early notated compositional works explore virtuosic solo instrumental experimentation and unusually orchestrated chamber ensemble combinations. His current compositional work combines the rigor of compositional technique with improvised frameworks of traditional jazz and experimentalism of new music to create systems of group dynamics that encourage performer-composer collaboration and new sonic exploration in each performance. Dr. Dries holds a Ph.D. in Composition and M.A. in Music Theory from University of California San Diego, where he studied with Rand Steiger, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Roger Reynolds and Brian Ferneyhough, with post-doctoral studies and research in Music Technology at IRCAM. He studied jazz improvisation and composition with bassist Richard Davis and saxophonist Les Thimmig at University of Wisconsin Madison where he .received his BM in Music Composition, studying with Stephen Dembski. Dries currently is a Lecturer in Music composition, theory, jazz, and music technology at California State University Fullerton School of Music.