Theo Walentiny

Pianist. Improviser. Composer.

Theo Walentiny has been involved in music since the age of 6. He began by playing classical piano under the direction of Claudine Hickman but always had a strong interest in improvising and composing. From the age of 8 he studied Improvisation through private lessons with Benjamin Smith exploring a multitude of concepts from a wide variety of genres ranging from those of Classical Music to the Avante-Garde with everything in between.

At age 13 he began studying jazz at NJPAC's Jazz for Teens in Newark, NJ sponsored by Wells Fargo. Here he learned the fundamentals through master classes, theory classes and small ensembles. Two years later he began studying at Jazz House Kids in Montclair, NJ. Here his studies deepened and he developed the skills to truly learn any kind of music. He was fortunate enough to have life changing experiences with Christian McBride, Chick Corea, Julius Tolentino and many other incredible musicians/teachers.

In the past few years he has been fortunate enough to perform with John Lee and Tommy Campbell at SOPAC and The Blue Note (NYC) as a part of “The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars”. He was also selected to represent The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music at The Bern Jazz Festival in Bern, Switzerland. He traveled there with bassist Nick Dunston's band "Dinner Party" performing original music and standards from the jazz repertoire for 5 nights in the festival's tent.

This past summer he travelled to Israel to play at Beit Ha'amudim with a quintet comprised of friends from New York and Israel. After that he went to Switzerland to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival with vocalist Arta Jekabsone's Quintet as well as record her debut record at Hana Road music studios. At the end of July he flew to New Orleans to tour with Kalia Vandever's quartet before departing to Banff Canada for the International Jazz Workshop led by Vijay Iyer.

He currently leads a septet and co-leads a trio performing regularly at different venues in New York. The bands are made up of some the most impeccable and unique musicians in the city. The septet’s repertoire features his own compositions and ranges in influence from impressionism and romanticism to modern jazz and the avante-garde. The trio, Aurelia Trio, has a focus on improvisation and deconstructing jazz standards as well as exploring original compositions.

At age 14 he also began exploring audio engineering and electronic music. Throughout high school he produced for local based rap groups as well as many other independent artists in the area. While producing/engineering for other groups, he also worked on his own experimental electronic music which lead him to pursue his interests in film scoring. At this point he has scored two short films for Howl at the Moon Studios as well as numerous other independent projects.

This spring he will complete his undergraduate degree at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. His ongoing experimentation in all of these fields makes him a diverse yet unique modern musician.