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, Bruce Williams, Julius Tolentino, Oscar Perez and many other incredible musicians/teachers.

In the past few years he has been fortunate enough to perform with John Lee, Tommy Campbell and Yotam Silberstein 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 summer he will be traveling to Israel to play at Beit Ha'amudim with a quintet comprised of friends from New York and Israel. After that he will head Switzerland to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival with vocalist Arta Jekabsone's Quintet as well as record her debut record. At the end of July he will travel to New Orleans to tour with Kalia Vandever's quartet before he departs to Banff Canada for the International Jazz Workshop.

He currently leads an octet and 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 octet’s repertoire features his own compositions and ranges in influence from Impressionism and Romanticism to Modern Jazz and the Avante-Garde. The 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. For 5 years he produced for the NJ based rap group MOA 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 creating collections of music such as "Thematics". This led 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 fall he will enter his senior year 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.