Pianist/Organist Chris Simonini's Love for music began as a teenager. While first purchasing a guitar and playing for a year, he soon began to direct himself towards the piano.
Inspired by the feeling and soulfulness of jazz greats such as Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans, and Cedar Walton he decided to devote his time to the tradition of Jazz. He first sought out formal training with jazz and classical piano lessons. Simonini had also become immensely interested in jazz organ and began to study the Hammond B3 organ. He currently continues to gig on the Instrument to date.
Chris, a New Jersey Native has been working as a freelance Pianist/Organist for the last Seven years with ample performance opportunities in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Washington DC. These opportunities include performances at Chris's Jazz Café (Philadelphia) playing as sideman with Denis Di Blasio, Grant Stewart, Behn Gillece, Brian Betz, Michael Pedicin as well as performances at many of the tri-state area's jazz festivals including, Exit Zero Jazz Festival(Cape May NJ-Organist in Brian Betz Quartet, 2015), Somers Point Jazz Festival (Somers Point NJ-Pianist in Michael Pedicin Quartet, 2013) and True Blue Jazz Festival(Rehoboth Beach DE-Leader of Organ Trio, 2014). Simonini has also lead many his own bands featuring his original music. He holds a long standing steady Wednesday night jazz gig at The Historic Smithville Inn (Galloway NJ),where he has had guest performers, Eric Alexander, Joe Magnarelli, Ken Fowser, Behn Gillece, Grant Stewart, and many others. Chris has had the privilege to work with some of today's well respected jazz musicians, some of which include, Javon Jackson, Grant Stewart, Steve Giordano, Vince Cherico, George Rabbi, Denis Di Blasio, Dan Monaghan, Justin Faulkner, John Swana, and many more.
In 2010 Chris received The Bill Walters Scholarship through the New Jersey Jazz Society which resulted in a performance at the annual Pee Wee Russell Stomp. Simonini holds a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from Rowan University(2013) Where he Studied under Dean Schnieder, Denis Di Blasio, and Lidia Bugoslavsky.
As a Clinician/Educator Simonini has had great experiences including serving as a guest clinician/performer at Rowan University's 2016 jazz festival. Chris has also served as a clinician at many of the south jersey area's high schools including Cherokee(Evesham) and Absegami(Galloway).
Currently Simonini is working on his Debut Recording Project. This project features all original music and the talents of John Swana-EVI, Andy Lalasis-Bass, Keith Hollis-Drums. The Project is due out in the Spring of 2017.
Chris teaches: Piano
Lessons with Chris are available on Monday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.