John Venkiah

John Venkiah was a Londoner born in 1986. At five years old, he began to play the keyboard. He moved to Sweden in 1998. John learned a lot from listening to his mother play records. As he reached his teens, singing and playing guitar became more important to him. John started writing his own music when he was 14 years old, experimenting with many different styles, such as soul, Motown, and jazz. He studied music in high school and met other musicians who helped him start his first bands. He was a founding member of the reggae group “Skank the Bones”, where he was the lead vocalist and keyboardist. John spent two years studying jazz at a college called “Lunnevads Folkhogskola”, where he gained more knowledge, passion and experience in jazz. He began his studies in 2008 for his bachelor’s degree as a jazz pianist at the Malmo Academy of Music. He graduated in 2012. John also took lessons from Jan Lundgren, a great Swedish pianist, during this time. He helped him move forward in jazz in many ways. They include John Venkiah Trio’s appearance in the 2012 Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival, recording their upcoming album (due around February ’14), and continued inspiration and coaching. John Venkiah has been influenced by Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau as well as Marvin Gaye and Frank Sinatra. Sam Cooke, Oscar Peterson. Ella Fitzgerald, Chick corea, Chet Baker. Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, among others. John is currently focusing on the John Venkiah trio.

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