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BIOGRAPHY

Juno nominated pianist Chris Donnelly is one of the most captivating and versatile artists on the international music scene. Growing up in Toronto, Chris was trained simultaneously as a classical pianist and a jazz pianist. His repertoire thus, is an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, ragtime, stride, gospel, and music from other genre-bending composers like Egberto Gismonti from Brazil and Nikolai Kapustin from Russia.

Chris’s latest project is called Music That Shaped America. Armed with a piano and his personable stage presence, Chris begins with the ragtime music of Scott Jopin, and takes listeners on a journey through the music and melodies that have been shaping the hearts and minds of North Americans over the last hundred years.
Performances include classics from The Great American Songbook and the Disney Songbook such as Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia, Erroll Garner’s Misty, Victor Young’s My Foolish Heart, Someday my Prince Will Come from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and So This is Love from Cinderella.

In addition, special homage is paid to one of America’s most recognizable composers, George Gershwin. Chris performs Gershwin’s piano arrangements of his popular tunes such as S’Wonderful, Lady Be Good and I’ve Got Rhythm and pairs them with his own personal, contemporary renditions. Lastly, Chris performs one of Gershwin’s most famous, identifiable pieces, Rhapsody in Blue.

Chris is also an accomplished composer and improviser. In September 2008, Chris released his Juno-nominated, debut album with Alma Records called ‘Solo,’ featuring a blend of original material and arrangements of jazz standards. This also earned him nominations for ‘Best Recording of the Year’ and ‘Best Keyboardist of the Year’ from the 2009 National Jazz Awards.

In March 2011, Chris released an album of original music inspired by the works of graphic artist M.C. Escher. Entitled ‘Metamorphosis,” the 50-minute composition starts with a single theme; each movement draws inspiration from the previous one, changing subtly and seamlessly, until the music arrives at the initial theme again. The album also features a reproduction of Escher’s work and an original poem by Toronto’s Poet Laureate, Giorgio Di Cicco.

Chris Donnelly is a Steinway Artist. Check out www.chrisdonnellymusic.com

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