Eddie Mendenhall Bio
Eddie Mendenhall is an exceptional pianist and composer who leads his own group and also has performed with “Senator” Eugene Wright, Ray Drummond, Pete Christlieb, Gary Meek, Manhattan Jazz Quintet, Ali Jackson Jr., Tommy Campbell, Calvin Keys, James Mahone, Enrique Iglesias, Peter Yellin, Virginia Mayhew, Paul Contos, Vince Lateano, Scott Steed, Steve Houghton, Mark Sherman, Akira Tana, John Schifflett, Dottie Dodgion, Mike Lent and many more.
Eddie began studying piano when he was four years old, and by the time he was eight he was good enough to play works of Schumann and Beethoven in front of his school. He became hooked on jazz at the age of 13, when he attended the Monterey Jazz Festival. While still in high school, he earned a place in the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Star Band in 1989 and 1990 (currently known as Next Generation Orchestra), under direction of Bill Berry and had the opportunity to accompany Dizzy Gillespie at the main stage of the festival. Soon after, Eddie earned scholarships to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and went on to graduate with a Bachelors degree in Jazz Composition.
Recent stateside projects include a trio with bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Steve Robertson. The trio backed the steel drum jazz legend Othello Molineaux during a California tour. Eddie has performed and recorded with Ray Brown’s “Great Big Band” for the last 8 years, and is featured on the fall 2010 release of Ray’s CD Kayak. Eddie’s compositions also include works ranging from solo piano to large ensemble. His exceptional writing is featured on Cosine Meets Tangent, Eddie’s debut recording as a leader. The CD, out February 15, 2011 on Miles High Records, features vibraphonist Mark Sherman, drummer Akira Tana, and bassist John Schifflett. Eddie has taught improvisation classes at Monterey Peninsula College and teaches yearly at the Monterey Jazz Festival and San Jose Summer Jazz Camps. Eddie currently teaches music classes at the Stevenson High School.