He's an acclaimed New York City-based jazz pianist and composer who has accompanied some of the most storied artists of our time. Get to know John di Martino, our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week.
NAME: John di Martino
HOMETOWN: Philadephia, PA
MUSICAL TRAINING: I studied with Jimmie Amadie, Lenny Tristano, Don Sebesky and Sophia Rosoff.
FIRST GIGS: I started gigging when I was 15 years old, playing in Philly Salsa bands, jazz gigs and club dates. I had a house band gig in Atlantic City, NJ for three years before I moved to NYC, and I accompanied different artists every week. I gained a lot of experience with varied styles of music.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones and Horace Silver.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Everything!
MY BIG BREAK: I "subbed" on a tour in Europe with Ray Barretto’s New World Spirit. Ray and I really hit it off and a year later, I joined the band and and stayed for five years. We recorded with James Moody, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Gomez and Joe Lovano. Some years later playing with Grady Tate, I met producer Todd Barkan and that led to countless recordings with Freddy Cole, Gloria Lynn, George Mraz, Ben Riley, Houston Person, David Fathead Newman, Isaac Delgado and many of my own on the Japanese Label Venus Records, under the "John di Martino’s Romantic Jazz Trio."
LATEST PROJECTS: I do a Billy Strayhorn program with Paquito D’ Rivera, and we are now planning to record the project.
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I have always enjoyed the Yamaha Motif series and it’s descendants. For piano, I have found that nothing beats a pristinely kept Steinway, but the Yamaha CFX concert grand is a warm sounding piano.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I want to spend more time writing. I would also like to land a teaching position in a part of the world with a warm climate!
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Though we learn through imitation, allow yourself to find your own unique voice. Just as our faces and fingerprints are unique, we all have an individual creative voice.
For more information visit www.johndimartino.com