Pat Bianchi

Pat Bianchi is the Jazz scene’s preeminent organist. Bianchi actively tours and plays in a variety of contexts, including traditional organ trios, progressive ensembles, and fusion groups. Bianchi is currently a member of the Pat Martino Quartet, the Tim Warfield Quintet, Chuck Loeb’s Plain and Simple Band (Guitarist With Fourplay), and often plays with Lou Donaldson. Pat said that it was an educational experience to work with so many bands. I have learned how to change gears every night and have worked hard at developing the sound and feel that suits each situation. “Connecting with and supporting the leader is the most important thing for me, while maintaining my sound is.” Bianchi is a dominant force in the Hammond Organ’s trio, which includes Mark Whitfield (guitar) and Byron Landham, drums. “This band is amazing. They are amazing. I had the opportunity to record East Coast Roots with them. I quickly discovered that they provide an incredible musical experience once I get on the bandstand. It is rhythmically explosive, full of harmonic twists, and turns. It’s impossible to predict where a song will go, but it’s always fun. Bianchi has also included other great musicians such as Tim Warfield Jr., Carmen Intorre Jr., and Craig Ebner in his trio. Bianchi hails from Rochester, NY. Bianchi is from a musical family. His grandfathers, Pat Bianchi (Saxophone) and Richard Zona (Trumpet) were supportive and guided him in his musical growth. Bianchi started playing the organ at age 7 and by age 11 was performing in professional gigs. He also performed with Rochester dance bands, ironically filling the role of bass with his left arm. This skill would be a great asset later in his musical career. His parents recognized Pat’s love of music and enrolled him in piano lessons. He later joined Eastman’s piano preparatory program in his teens. Bianchi’s interest in music and talent grew throughout high school, which led him to study at a well-respected conservatory. Bianchi graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Performance in 1998. Bianchi was appointed the house pianist at El Chapultepec in Denver shortly after graduation. Locals call it the Pec. It often invited in guest artists, giving Pat an opportunity to play alongside such legends as Red Holloway and Dakota Staton, Carl Fontana Javon Jackson, Mark Elf Mark Elf, Bud Shank Brad Leali, Pete Christlieb, Conte Candoli, and Javon Jackson. Pat was a key figure in the Denver Jazz Scene after he spent almost three years at the Pec, playing six nights per week. Bianchi eventually decided to stop playing at The Pec and concentrate on the organ. Bianchi has not looked back since then. His national debut as an Organist was made when he appeared on two recordings with the Denver-based organ trio, 3osity. Bianchi gained more recognition as an organist thanks to the national release of Art of The Jazz Organ Trio, and then the recording Tri-O-City. Bianchi would soon be a fixture on the New York organ scene, spending a short time in NYC. Lou Donaldson, a legendary saxophonist, immediately noticed the young organist. Donaldson hired him to replace Dr. Lonnie Smith, who was unable to make an engagement. Javon Jackson, saxophonist, recommended that Bianchi be hired by Alvin Queen to perform a week-long engagement in Europe. Pat worked for Alvin almost two years. Bianchi’s time in “Queen” provided him with a valuable education. It also gave him the opportunity to make important friendships that would help him achieve many future opportunities. Bianchi, however, decided to return home for personal reasons. Bianchi rejoined the University of Colorado at Boulder Jazz Studies Program after he resumed his Denver tenure. He recorded East Coast Roots, his first album as a leader. It features Mark Whitfield on guitar, and Byron Landham drums. Bianchi also began to work closely with Ralph Peterson Jr. drummer on collaborative projects such as co-leading The Unity Project, a tribute to Larry Young’s album Unity, and leading The Unity Project. Bianchi was back in New York City in June 2008 and, with the support of old friends, like Bruce Williams, alto saxophonist and Adam Niewood, Pat started working more often, increasing visibility, and finding new opportunities. In 2009, Bianchi was officially admitted to Lou Donaldson’s quartet. He performed with Lou for nearly a year before joining Pat Martino and his working trio in 2011. Bianchi was featured in Tim Warfield’s Sentimental Journey recording. This is a follow-up to Warfield’s One For Shirley, on which he also appears. Bianchi continued performing with Ralph Peterson Jr. and The Unity Project. Much of this material was recorded on Peterson’s CD Outer Reaches. Bianchi’s second album, Back Home, was released shortly after. His most recent CD, Back Home, features Terell Stafford and Ralph Peterson Jr., Wayne Escoffery, and other guests. You can purchase East Coast Roots or Back Home on iTunes and this website. Bianchi has collaborated with many artists, including George Coleman, Randy Johnston and Houston Person, Terell Stafford and Mark Whitfield. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to play with such incredible musicians. It was truly an experience that has shaped and taught me so many things and continues to inspire me to grow as a musician.” –

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