Pianist and composer Chris McCarthy is proving to be one of the most imaginative and impressive forces in the New York jazz scene.- Hot House Jazz Magazine
Respected keyboardist and Seattle native Chris McCarthy is releasing his first record Sonder on Red Piano Records on May 12th. A new arrival on the New York music scene, McCarthy brings with him with extensive experience as a bandleader, sideman and music educator in Boston and Seattle.
McCarthy interest in music began with piano lessons at the age of 8. Inspired by the great educators and performers of the Seattle area, McCarthy began band leading at the age of 16, playing around greater Seattle with a large variety of ensembles. After high school, Chris completed his bachelor’s degree at New England Conservatory, privately studying with teachers such as Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, Bruce Brubaker, Miguel Zenon, Billy Hart and Jerry Bergonzi. Bergonzi described McCarthy as "one of those players everyone wants to have in their band,” and McCarthy began performing every Monday with Bergonzi’s quintet from 2013-2015. This weekly gig at The Lily Pad allowed McCarthy to play with and learn from jazz giants such as George Garzone, Phil Grenadier, Doug Weiss, Dave Liebman, John Lockwood, Bob Gullotti, and Luther Gray.
Around the same time he joined Bergonzi’s band McCarthy became a regular performer at Wally’s Jazz Cafe: first as part of Willy Rodriguez’s band every weekend, then as a band leader on Saturday night sets, then as the keyboardist for trumpeter Jason Palmer’s Quintet. In May and October 2016, Palmer’s quintet made a live record engineered by the legendary Jimmy Katz, which will be released in 2017.
With the release of Sonder, McCarthy utilizes his jazz training but also free himself from the confines of the genre by covering artists ranging from Deerhoof to Irma Thomas. The music on the record was recorded entirely live in one continuous take, a feat that says a lot about the potential of this recording and Chris McCarthy’s ensemble.
An active teacher, Chris has over seven years of experience working with all ages and skill levels in settings ranging from private lessons to rock band camps. He currently teaches every week at Mark Murphy School of Music in South Orange, New Jersey and Clinton Hill Music School in Brooklyn. He has taught private lessons since he was 15 and loves helping all skill levels discover their own joy in styles ranging from classical to jazz to rock to pop. Drop a line below to schedule lessons!
"Chris is very personable, and approachable. He is also really great with kids, and reliable. I would definitely recommend him as a teacher!"- Caroline S.
"As a teacher, Chris is punctual and courteous, brings good materials and adjusts lessons to fit the skill level and desires of the student. As a person, he's great! Friendly, funny, and really helpful. A great teacher and person all around"- Liz M.
"I highly recommend Chris. Patient and professional."- Jacob S.