David Torkanowsky

Vibrant jazz notes fill the air at the old Uptown church one Sunday before Mardi Gras, with David leading a group of seasoned New Orleans musicians. He seemed comfortable in this grand sanctuary, at home, as  much as he would in a music club or hotel bar. His strong hands are not  beautiful but they make exquisite music. His clothes are a bit rumpled but his songs are elegant ,finely honed, groomed and styled to perfection . Affable and engaging he even signed a program at the piano for a middle-aged fan.  Tradition claims that artist have to suffer before they become great, but whatever suffering he may have endured has only made him versatile, empathetic, generous , humorous and great.home-rotation-4

He was 3 years old, the son of musical parents, when he started playing piano. He experienced a wide variety of music in his home, enjoying African, America and European tradition with equal respect; he still blends these musical customs into his own special style. His skills and techniques were refined at Boston’s esteemed Berklee School of Music , but the heart and soul of his artistry were derived from exposure to traditional NOLA music giants like Ellis Marsalis and Danny Barklee. His scores and compositions have been heard on movies and television shows, and he’s worked with stellar performers from the area and across the nation. He’s confident enough to dive into various forms of music, tackling blues, funk, and R&R in addition to his unique brand of jazz, recently conducting a gala tribute to Frank Sinatra at the Orpheum Theater.

After more than 6 decades thumping the ivories, he is still passionate about musical , generous in his support of other  and excited about his hometown. He loves New Orleans and praises the city’s uniqueness by calling it “culturally the most important city in the country.

You can catch him every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm at Dickie Brennan’s Tableau Restaurant, 616 St. peter St. on Jackson Square.

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