“He is an exceptional player who fully understands the jazz language and is fully conversant with all genres of the music. ”
— Kenny Barron
TIM WHALEN BIO
Jazz Pianist : Composer : Arranger : Teacher : Producer
Tim Whalen is highly versatile jazz pianist, keyboard player, composer, arranger, and teacher living in Washington, DC. His passion and dedication to his art shines in everything he touches, and he’s been blessed with opportunities to write and play music with some incredible people. He’s played all over the United States, Japan and Europe in many different musical situations, and has written music for everything from jazz duos to orchestras.
Since moving to Washington DC in late 2010, Tim has been a key contributor to the DC jazz scene, and has played with the finest musicians in the area, including Lena Seikaly, Tommy Cecil, Chuck Redd, Paul Pieper, Tedd Baker, Lyle Link, Kenny Rittenhouse, Kris Funn, Elijah Jamal Balbed, Donvonte McCoy, Victor Provost, Mark Prince, Zack Pride, Tom Baldwin, Paul Langosch, The Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, and others. He’s also ranks as one of DC’s most respected and successful bandleaders. His groups have presented sold out concerts at venues such as Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, Twins Jazz, the Smithsonian, and the Strathmore Music Center.
Beyond the Washington, DC area, Tim has played with David “Fathead” Newman, Ernie Adams, Wessell Anderson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jon Hendricks, Vic Juris, Richard Davis, Dennis Irwin, Tim Ries, Clyde Stubblefield, Jackie Allen, Ben Sidran, Jorge Drexler, Marcus Belgrave, and Andy Martin.
“I have worked with Tim for over a decade and know him to be a
dedicated and inspired musician, one who has developed and maintained
a great facility in - and love for - the jazz piano tradition.”
- Ben Sidran
Whalen is also held in high regard as a composer, arranger, and orchestrator. In 2005, he orchestrated the string arrangement for the Oscar-winning song “El Otro Lado del Rio” by Jorge Drexler from the film The Motorcycle Diaries. Tim has also written music for commercials, and his music for the DeJope Bingo ad campaign won an Addy award in Wisconsin. Versatility is so important these days, and he is equally at home writing music for an orchestra as he is writing for a jazz quintet. In March 2009, he premiered an orchestra commission for the Cobb Symphony in Atlanta where they played the music of The Who featuring a 5-piece rock band accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra.
“One of the ablest and most expansive pianists in the area.”
- Mike West, Washington City Paper
Not one to stand still musically, Whalen is also very busy with numerous musical projects, including his Trio, Nonet, Septet, new Chamber Ensemble, which mixes classical chamber music, soul music, poetry, and jazz. He also co-leads the new 17-piece KW BIG BAND with the amazing guitarist and composer Michael Kramer.
On top of all this, Whalen is also the co-founder and music director of Madison, WI funk and r&b kings, Phat Phunktion.
From 2007 to 2010, Whalen was visiting assistant professor of Jazz Piano at the University of Toledo in Ohio, where he taught jazz improvisation, jazz composition and arranging, jazz history, and private lessons in jazz piano. He also CO-directed the Jazz Vocalstra with the legendary jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks.