Uri Caine was born in Philadelphia and began studying piano with Bernard Peiffer. 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 30 albums as a leader. A new trio CD, Calibrated Thickness (816Music) – with Mark Helias and Clarence Penn – has just been released. Space Kiss (816 Music), an upcoming CD with the Lutoslawski String Quartet features new compostions for piano and strings. Recent CDs include Sonic Boom with Han Bennink (816 Music 2013), Rhapsody in Blue (Winter and Winter 2013) and Callithump (Winter and Winter 2014). He has recorded projects with his ensemble performing arrangements of Mahler, Wagner, Verdi, Schumann and Bach. He was nominated for a Grammy for The Othello Syndrome (Winter and Winter) in 2009.
Caine has received commissions to compose music for the American Composers Orchestra, The Arditti Quartet, The Vienna Volksoper, Concerto Köln, The Basel Chamber Orchestra and The Beaux Arts Trio among others. His most recent orchestra composition Sunburst was performed in June 2016 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily. Other recent compositions include Jagged Edges,a piano quintet written for The Afiara String Quartet, The Passion of Octavius Catto composed for the Philadelphia Orchestra and gospel choir celebrating the life of murdered civil rights leader Octavius Catto, and Hamsa composed for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. From 2006-2009 he was the Composer in Residence for The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He 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 Biennale in 2003.
During 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.