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Ray Santisi

"As anyone familiar with the Boston scene knows, there are few things finer than hearing Ray take on an acoustic piano. But there are different ways to tackle the challenge, and Ray can make any path work. On 6/2 Ray decided to put on a clinic. I'm not a piano player but even in my ignorance I found myself shaking my head in amazement. No doubt any piano player in the audience would have been inspired - or perhaps frightened into giving up the instrument. It was a master indulging in the sheer joy of tackling the possibilities (maybe the impossibilities) of the instrument. I wish there had been a video recorder running. I show up for the surprises and sometimes - as in this case - I am rewarded.” Stu Vandermark, CADENCE Magazine

Ray Santisi, pianist/arranger/composer, was an internationally known jazz musician who played as featured soloist with Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Mel Torme, Irene Kral, Natalie Cole, and countless other well-known jazz greats. He performed with Buddy DeFranco, Joe Williams, Gabor Szabo, Milt Jackson, Zoot Sims & Al Cohn, Carole Sloane, Clark Terry and Bobby Brookmyer.

Ray Santisi has been a featured pianist on Blue Note, Capitol, Prestige, Sonnet, Roulette, and United Artists Records. He has also recorded on Bethlehem, Transition, and Rasan record labels.

Santisi's 1990's release, SPELLBINDER weaves a correlation between the seven-four time signature in the title piece and the hypnotic effect created by a snake charmer. Special thanks to Whit Brown, bass; and Fred Buda, percussion for such wonderful support and cooperation. Sit back, listen, and become spellbound. Santisi released LIVE @RYLES JAZZ CLUB in 2005. Both albums are available through CDBaby.com and singles may be purchased through iTunes, Rhapsody and other popoular digital distributors. Click on the Discography section below for complete details.

Santisi was professor of piano and harmony at Berklee College of Music in Boston for 57 years. Additionally, he taught at Stan Kenton's summer jazz clinics on college campuses throughout the US, performing in Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia.

An alumnus of Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory, Professor Santisi was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in composition and performance. He authored "Berklee Jazz Piano", published through the Berklee Press and Hal Leonard in January 2009 and "Jazz Originals for Piano". He was a founder of the early Jazz Workshops in Boston and co-owner of the famous Stables Jazz Club.

A Ray Santisi quartet collaborated live every Saturday afternoon at Club Caravan in Revere, MA and the first Sunday of every month at Ryles Jazz Club brunch from 2003 until the month of his death in 2014 with The Patricia Adams Quartet.

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About "Berklee Jazz Piano" by Ray Santisi, published through the Berklee Press and Hal Leonard, January 2009

"I have been aware of Mr. Santisi's virtuosity as a pianist for many decades. Now he has applied his formidable knowledge and experience to a carefully presented analytical approach to aid in developing the reader's technical facility, while encouraging and preserving the unique musical essence and imagination of the individual."— George Russell, composer, author of Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization

"I have known Ray Santisi since I was a teenager in Boston. Ray Santisi would invite me to sit in with the Herb Pomeroy Sextet. He taught many aspiring jazz musicians for many years at Berklee. This all encompassing book will beinvaluable to musicians and teachers alike who pursue jazz improvisation."— Steve Kuhn, pianist/composer

"This is the best piano book I ever encountered! It contains so much information for any musician at any level to become a great improviser. I am so impressed and moved by the fact that Ray has been saving these important ideas and methods over decades. Only Ray could come up with a book like this, because he is not only a great educator, but he also is one of the best musicians in the world. This is a true treasure for so many musicians! And I am so honored to be one of Ray's students."— Makoto Ozone, pianist/composer

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Album Discography



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