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Canadian Heritage

Chris Donnelly


Chris Donnelly (pianist) is a Toronto-based pianist and composer who is equally proficient in jazz and classical music. Chris holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto where he studied with David Braid, Gary Williamson, Paul Read, Kirk MacDonald, Alexander Rapoport, and Russell Hartenberger.

In 2008, Chris released his debut album entitled, Solo, which was nominated for a JUNO in 1009 and featured original compositionsl and arrangements of jazz standards. This also earned him nominations for ‘Best Recording of the Year’ and ‘Best Keyboardist of the Year’ from the 2009 National Jazz Awards.

Chris released his second album in March 2011, Metamorphosis. Inspired by the works of graphic artist M.C. Escher, the album features a 50-minute original composition as well as a reproduction of Escher’s work and an original poem by Toronto’s Poet Laureate, Giorgio Di Cicco.

In 2012, Chris released the recording Tell with the collective trio Miriad 3, which features bassist Dan Fortin and drummer Ernesto Cervini. The group released their second album, The Where, in June 2014. The album was nominated for a JUNO in 2015.

Chris is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto and has previously worked as a faculty member at the Humber College Community Music School, Prairielands Jazz Camp, and the National Music Camp of Canada.


2008 – JUNO nomination - 'Traditional Jazz Album' for
2015 - JUNO nomination for 'Jazz Album of the Year, by a Group' for The Where