“…one of Canada’s best-kept secrets.”
– Raul d’Gama Rose, All About Jazz
Chris Donnelly represents a new generation of jazz pianists, composers and improvisers dedicated to creating programs that are engaging, entertaining and educating. He is continually praised for his virtuosic performances, musicality, versatility and ability to captivate audiences.
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 holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto where he studied with David Braid, Gary Williamson, Paul Read, Kirk MacDonald Alexander Rapoport and Russell Hartenberger. Upon completing his Masters of Music in Jazz Performance at the University of Toronto, Chris was awarded The Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award for students ‘deemed to have the greatest potential to make an important contribution to the field of music.’
Chris is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto and has previously worked as a faculty member at the Humber College Community Music School, Prairielands Jazz Camp and the National Music Camp of Canada.
“..this guy sure knows his way around the piano. And his virtuoso playing blows the mind… In a way, he resembles a young Duke Ellington, but without the swing.” – Patricia Herlevi, World Music Central