About Jim Giaquinto
How old were you when you first started playing?
When I was five years old my older sister Joan started taking piano lessons. Shortly thereafter I began to play by ear some of the songs I heard her practicing. She continued to study formally for at least 8 years, providing me with an entire childhood of great musical inspiration and paving the way for my own private lessons and musical journey.
Where did you go to music school? What did you study there?
I studied classical piano at the Longy School of Music and the University of Lowell. I studied jazz under the tutelage of the world-renowned Charlie Banacos. I’ve taken classes in Harmony, Solfege, Ear Training, Chord Voicing, Improvisation and Transcription.
What are your favorite kinds of music to play and why?
There are so many styles of music that I enjoy playing ranging from a playful Vince Guaraldi tune (my students love Linus and Lucy) to an emotional, romantic ballad. I will often take a selection from The Great American Songbook and re-harmonize the chords to give it more depth.
What are some of the musical styles you teach?
I teach pop, rock, jazz, blues, classical and musicals. Being proficient in many styles of music helps me to cater to the needs and interests of my students.
Where are some of the places you’ve performed?
With my band Mystique (awarded the WGBH A-List Best Boston Wedding Band in 2014) we’ve performed at some of the finest venues in New England from the Newport Mansions to the best Boston hotels. I also have a jazz trio that provides elegant music at many corporate and political functions. We played the Alden Castle in Brookline for Governor Charlie Baker and at the Opera House in Boston where President Barack Obama was the guest of honor. As a solo pianist I play country clubs regularly including Kernwood and Pine Brook. I’m also very involved with the music at the youth masses at my church, St. Michael’s.
Who are some of your favorite bands and musicians?
There are so many bands and musicians that inspire me. To name a few: Billy Joel, Sting, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Hornsby, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, George Winston, the Beatles, ELP…
What are your other musical pursuits and accomplishments?
I’ve done a lot of studio pre-production work with many singer-songwriters over the years. It’s creatively rewarding to help a song develop.
What are some of your artistic goals?
Composing for television and film is a definite goal. As my children get older, my wife and I are starting to find the time to engage in our own personal interests. Spending more time composing in my home studio is something that I truly look forward to.
Tell us about your sound clips:
- The first clip is the Marc Cohn song “Walking in Memphis”. My band Mystique recorded it over 10 years ago but it is still a favorite of mine.
- The second clip is from “I Will Wait for You” by Michael Legrand. I’ve always admired the powerful emotion that Michel’s songs provoked.
- The last selection from Grover Washington Jr.’s “Winelight” represents the smooth jazz style that my trio Breez’n often plays.