new album

upcoming performances

press kit &sound clips


contact the sound photos biography

Jazz Education Program


This is a page dedicated to friends/mentors/and artists of whom Tucker wishes to acknowledge their influence musically.  This page also serves to recognize people who have expressed encouragement along the way. ( below written by Tucker Rountree...)


Don Menza

  Don Menza's big band was the first jazz group I ever listened to seriously. I was captivated by an album he made which was dedicated to Charlie Parker and Dizzy. Even though I don't write or play big band music, I think I was drawn to the energy and virtuosity of his playing.




Eric Johnson

  Eric Johnson has been a huge influence on my ideas in music, and as a guitarist. Songs like Trademark, 40 mile town, Song for Lynette ,Song for life, When the sun meets the sky, will stay with you forever after one listening. I saw him for the first time when I was 13 on a PBS special featuring Texas guitarists. I remember I was so excited, that same day I bought one of his albums. I have been fortunate enough in recent years to know him, and he has given me great advice and encouragement. The most important thing I learned from him is to be yourself and never compromise your beliefs for monetary success. He has truly raised the bar for future generations. Eric is one of the greatest  musicians I know of.


Pat Metheny

   When I was in High School, I think I was 16 or so, this great pianist named Jeff Pickett, introduced me to Pat's music. I didn't know quite what to think after that. I went home and re-evaluated what I was playing  in my music. Pat's playing and composition style was really the template for me to find my own sound. He made it possible for me to get into jazz, along with Eric Johnson too, because he uses all elements of music to create something new. One could study Pat's music for any instrument. His early ECM stuff is so free and organic. Pat's Question & Answer album had a big effect on my playing and thinking in Jazz altogether.


Miles Davis


 Miles' tunes were the first I learned when I was getting the standards together. I love all his 50's and 60's  albums, and his conception changed jazz forever. He has really influenced my soloing ideas.




John Coltrane


I love Coltrane's compositions and his unique way of hearing harmonically through the changes. I listen to his music quite a bit and it always inspires me. Giant Steps and the way he played Afro Blue is so amazing to me.




Tears For Fears


Roland Orzabal's pop music of the 80's and 90's has somehow been engrained in my writing. I love his songwriting, and I think he is a really honest musician. I love Tears for Fears.




Keith Jarrett


 Everyone talks about the standards group that Keith Jarrett does, which I love. The original tunes he played back in the 70's I thought were amazing. Tunes like Lucky Southern and Spiral are so cool. Plus, I just love the approach he has to the piano. It's different every time.




Wolfgang Muthspiel

    I think Wolfgang has perfect technique, and plays with great passion. Since the first time I heard him, I wanted to emulate his tone, and style. My favorite recording of his so far is Real Book Stories, where he does a great version of Horace Silver's Peace and a cool version of  Solar.



Wayne Shorter

    Wayne Shorter has influenced my composing in many  ways. I like his short form tunes, and enigmatic chord progressions. His work with Miles Davis, and Freddie Hubbard is also great. But most of all, tunes like Fee Fi Fo Fum, Footprints, and Witchhunt are really fun.





John McLaughlin

    I could pick McLaughlin's playing out of 100 other guitarists because he has such a distinctive sound. You always know its him. I learned some great techniques from his albums.





Joshua Bell

    I am just amazed every time I hear or see Joshua Bell play and I think he plays with vibrant style. I look up to him and the dedication he has for his art.






Brad Mehldau

    Brad Mehldau has been one of my biggest influences in conception, and how I try to approach my music and playing with others. I think he has a very special way of playing with his rhythm section, and unique comping styles.





John Abercrombie

    Abercrombie has great tone and amazing songwriting styles. His ECM albums have inspired me for years. He has such a trademark sound that comes so easily to him. He picks great musicians to play on his recordings too.



James Taylor

   I am a big James Taylor fan, his songs are so pure and full of life. I hope he keeps writing for a long time. Some people have told me that my tunes sometimes show his influence.



Steely Dan

    My dad gave me a best of Steely Dan album for my 9th birthday and you can imagine how a 9 year old might react to that kind of music. I really loved it from the start though. I think the tune that first hit me was Black Friday, Walter Becker's solos blew my mind. 






Herbie Hancock

   Hancock's earlier albums in the 60's are amazing to me. I also love the Parallel Realities DVD with him and Pat. He really commands a quality from his piano.




Lenny Breau

    I hope more people find out about Breau's contribution to Jazz and musicality in general. He has great nuances and loads of technique and chops. He inspired my chord melody approach. Breau is a true legend.



Bruce Hornsby

    Hornsby's songwriting has always been inspiring to me. There is a cool album he did called Hot House where he features a  lot of great Jazz players. And, of course, his first album I enjoy a lot as well. I think what captivates me most about Hornsby is that he has a great original sound to his tunes. You know right off its him. I think that's hard on the piano!







  Out of all these players and people that have influenced me, the most profound force in my life has been my friendship with the Lord  Jesus Christ. I feel all my tunes are dedicated to him in one way or another.