Juno-nominated pianist and composer Chris Donnelly is one of the most captivating and versatile artists on today’s music scene. Trained simultaneously as a classical pianist and a jazz pianist, his genre-bending repertoire is an eclectic mix of jazz, ragtime, stride, gospel, improvisation, original compositions and classical music.
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 is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto. He tours internationally with his clarinet/piano ensemble The Wolak/Donnelly Duo, and is a member of the jazz trio Myriad3.