He is an exceptional player who fully understands the jazz language and is fully conversant with all genres of the music.” - Kenny Barron

About Tim

Tim Whalen

Jazz Pianist | Composer | Arranger | Producer | Educator

Milwaukee native Tim Whalen is a highly versatile jazz pianist, keyboard player, producer, composer, arranger, and educator. His passion and dedication to his art shine in everything he touches. He’s played all over the world and has written music for everything from solo pieces to orchestras. 

From 2010 to late 2023, Tim was a member of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, DC,  where he served as keyboard player, arranger, and music director for the pop / commercial music group Downrange. Outside of the Army Band, he was deeply involved in the DC music scene, where he 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. As a highly respected bandleader, his groups have presented sold-out concerts at Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, Twins Jazz, the Smithsonian, and the Strathmore Music Center. 

In late 2023, Tim returned home to Milwaukee and quickly re-established himself as a musical force in the Midwest.

Beyond the Washington, DC, and Milwaukee areas, Tim has played with David “Fathead” Newman, Ernie Adams, Fred Wesley, Wessell Anderson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jon Hendricks, Vic Juris, Richard Davis, Dennis Irwin, Tim Ries, Clyde Stubblefield, Bones Malone, 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 who has developed and maintained a great facility in - and love for - the jazz piano tradition.” 
          - Ben Sidran 

Whalen is also highly regarded as a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and music producer. 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, he’s involved with numerous musical projects, including his Trio, Nonet, Septet, and new Chamber Ensemble, which mixes classical chamber music, soul music, poetry, and jazz. He also co-leads the 17-piece KW BIG BAND with guitarist and composer Michael Kramer.

On top of all this, Whalen is also the co-founder of Madison, WI’s funk and R&B kings, Phat Phunktion.

The newest chapter in his musical journey finds him working on a new album of original songs. These songs showcase his abilities as a songwriter, a singer, and a producer. His highly-anticipated album will be released in 2022 and will surely surprise many listeners!


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