Uri Caine was born in Philadelphia and began studying piano with Bernard Peiffer and composition with George Rochberg when he was a teenager. He played in bands led by Philly Joe Jones, Hank Mobley, Johnny Coles, Mickey Roker, Odean Pope, Bootsie Barnes, Bobby Durham and Grover Washington. He attended the University Of Pennsylvania and studied music composition with George Rochberg and George Crumb. Since moving to New York in 1985, Caine has recorded 33 albums as a leader. Recent CDs include Space Kiss (816 Music, 2017) with the Lutoslawski Quartet, Calibrated Thickness (816 Music, 2016) with his piano trio, and Callithump (Winter and Winter, 2015) playing his solo piano compositions. He has recorded projects with his ensemble performing arrangements of Mahler, Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, Schumann and Bach’s Goldberg Variations. He also leads an acoustic trio that has made several recordings including Live at the Village Vanguard (Winter and Winter) as well as his electric Bedrock trio. He was nominated for a GRAMMY award for the Othello Syndrome (Winter and Winter) in 2009.
Recent compositions include Agent Orange (2017) written for the Brussels Philharmonic and 4 Wunderhorn Songs (2017) written for the SWF Orchestra. Caine composed The Passion of Octavius Catto for the Philadelphia Orchestra with gospel choir celebrating the life of murdered Philadelphia civil rights leader Octavius Catto and Hamsa for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra based on Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto. Caine has also received commissions to compose music for the American Composers Orchestra, the Vienna Volksoper, the BBC concert orchestra, Concerto Köln, The Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Arditti Quartet and The Beaux Arts Trio among others. He was the Composer-in-Residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for 3 years and has performed his version of the Diabelli Variations with orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Caine was the Director of The Venice Bienalle in 2003.
Over the past several years Caine has worked in groups led by Don Byron, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco, Sam Rivers, Barry Altschul, the Woody Herman band and the Master Musicians of Jajouka. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Foundation and the USA Artist Fellowships. He has performed at many festivals including the North Sea Jazz festival, the Monterey Jazz festival, the Montreal Jazz festival and the Newport Jazz festival as well as classical festivals like the Salzburg festival, the Munich Opera, Holland Festival, IRCAM and Great Performers at Lincoln Center.
He lives in New York City with his wife Jan.