Bruce Hornsby

Possessed of a breezy, nonchalant style that belies his technical gifts, pianist Bruce Hornsby writes powerful songs from the heart that touch on several distinctly American traditions: pop, jazz, bluegrass, and '60s soul. He worked for a while as a studio player and songwriter, and had his first hit in 1986 with the stirring and philosophical "The Way It Is." After that, he continued to release albums that honored his own muse rather than the marketplace, and put together various backing bands to suit the mood and style of the genres he works in. Hornsby has also maintained a close musical relationship with the remaining members of the Grateful Dead, having toured as a temporary member in the early '90s and collaborated on off-shoot recordings and live shows.