If someone invited you to hear one of the best jazz pianists in the world, would you accept?
Who is it? John Colianni. Never heard of him. You may not have heard the name, but some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century wanted to work with this pianist. On February 12 and 13, John Colianni is teaming up with the prestigious Camellia Manor, Holly Hills SC, for a Valentine’s celebration which includes gourmet dinner and private piano salon.
Keter Betts, Ella Fitzgerald’s bassist, recruited a 16-year-old John Colianni for the revue “Jazz Stars of The Future,” a troupe of young, jazz musicians who performed concerts in DC and Baltimore. While John was in the 10th grade, Jazz Studies Director, George Ross, recruited him to play regularly with the University of Maryland Jazz Ensemble. During his senior year in high school he caught the attention of pianist Carlton Drinkard, former accompanist to the one and only “Lady Day”—Billie Holiday. Drinkard recruited players for John’s new trio, and coached him in creating new arrangements. At 19, John visited Lionel Hampton backstage in Atlantic City. Hampton invited this talented, young musician to come and play for him in his apartment in NYC. Hampton hired Colianni on the spot. For the next three years, Lionel Hampton and his band toured the world and recorded three albums. In 1986, Carl Jefferson, the owner and director of Concord Records signed John, who recorded three critically acclaimed releases for the label. Several months after the release of his debut Concord recording, John was a cash-prizewinner in the First International Thelonious Monk Piano Competition.
Are you getting an idea of how talented this pianist is? Let’s continue. For more than four years in the early 1990s, Colianni worked as Mel Tormé’s pianist. In 2003, the renowned guitarist and inventor Les Paul added John to his group, on the recommendation of fellow guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and the trio held down a weekly club performance in NYC. Throughout John’s six-year tenure, the group also toured, recorded, and appeared many times on national media. During that tenure, Les Paul invited acclaimed musicians to join the trio on stage each Monday night. They all lined up to work with Paul and his trio.
Heading up a 17 piece jazz orchestra in New York, currently fills John’s busy schedule. A new album will be released in April of 2018. He will tour this summer in Europe for 12 weeks. February 2018 will see John Colianni and his NYC trio on a tour in South Carolina. On February 12 and 13, John Colianni is teaming up with the prestigious Camellia Manor, Holly Hills SC, for a Valentine’s celebration which includes gourmet dinner and private piano salon. “To nestle in front of the fireplace and listen to one of the best jazz pianists in the world – it will be a sublime evening.” Mary Ann Dyne/Del Webb Cane Bay.
Tickets are $110 per person and can be purchased by calling Brian DeWesse - 317-439-3878.
The performance is on February 12 and 13, 2018. 6:00PM and 9:00PM seatings.
Camellia Manor 2729 Camden Road, Holly Hill, SC 29059.