John Colianni grew up in the Washington, D.C. metro area and first heard Jazz on swing-era LP re-issues (Ellington, Goodman, Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, Armstrong, etc.) in his parents' home. A performance by Teddy Wilson in Washington attended by John when he was about 12 years old also left a strong impression, as did a Duke Ellington performance (more later).
In 2006, looking for an outlet for his high velocity piano improvisations, John formed the John Colianni Quintet. In July 2007, the group recorded its first CD, Johnny Chops (Patuxent Records), which was released this year.
Les Paul offered the piano spot in his group to John in August 2003