About Javier Santiago Trio
Once a teen prodigy playing piano around the Twin Cities, Javier Santiago went on to study for two years at the acclaimed Brubeck Institute and ultimately graduate from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan.
One of the brightest lights on the New York jazz piano scene, Javi Santiago comes by his musical bent honestly, the son of drummer Mac and vocalist Laurie Santiago, and grandson of Latin percussion master, the late Luis Santiago. Javi began studying piano at age 7, turning to jazz piano and trumpet at age 10, and playing with the bands at Ramsey Fine Arts Middle School program in south Minneapolis before moving on to the jazz program at South High. With a group called “Second Nature,” he recorded his first CD in 2004. He was also a member of the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band and the first edition of the Dakota Combo under the direction of Kelly Rossum, and played with the teen bands The Eggz and The Bridge. In 2006, Javi was awarded the Jane Matteson Scholarship at the Schubert Club/Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Jazz Piano Competition; the following year he won the David Paulus Scholarship at the same competition. He performed at the Artists’ Quarter (with Chris Smith, Miguel Hurtado, and other area student musicians) before graduation, and spent his senior year of high school sitting in at the Times. A former student of pianist Tanner Taylor, Javi was selected as a Fellow of the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific, where he attended for the maximum two years.
From Brubeck Javi moved on to complete his college studies at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, graduating in December 2011. In New York, Javi is finding many opportunities to perform, including gigs with another former Twin Citian, trumpeter John Raymond. Earlier in 2015, Javi released an EP, Year of the Horse, with original compositions. -Andrea Canter, Jazz Police