Winner of the 2016 NAMMY (Native American Music Award) for Best Instrumental Recording -- Navajo pianist and composer Connor Chee is available for a variety of solo piano entertainment. Whether it's an intimate home concert or Carnegie Hall, Connor can accommodate your needs! His repertoire includes classical pieces, his own compositions (based on traditional Navajo music), and even pop music by request. He is capable of giving a full-on concert, but can also provide background music for weddings or other events. He can also offer a joint speaking/playing performance, where he speaks about traditional Native American (Navajo) music, and performs pieces throughout the talk.
Price Range: $200 and up
Gig Length: 60 - 300 minutes
What to Expect
For home concerts, the audience can expect a performance of 60-120 minutes based on your needs. Connor will perform a variety of classical pieces, as well as his own compositions based on traditional Navajo music. He will talk about the pieces throughout, giving the listeners a deeper experience with each piece. There will also be time to mingle after the performance, so that audience members can ask any questions they might have, and connect with Connor on a more personal level.
For concerts in large venues, Connor can provide a 120 minute concert (with one 10-15 minute intermission). This will include speaking about the pieces he performs, and how they relate to his own performances and compositions. He will be available for pictures and autographs at the end of the concert.
If you need background music, Connor can provide several hours of music based on your needs. The music can be classical, pop, new age, Native American, or any combination you would like. He is often able to accommodate music requests during the event as well.
If you would like some form of lecture-recital, Connor can create a presentation that suits your specific needs. For example, a presentation about Native American music and how it relates to Classical music. This can include visual aids (such as video and powerpoint), and will include performances on the piano throughout. This type of presentation is ideal for museums, festivals, or any cultural events, but can also be presented in a more intimate home-concert format.
Originally from Page, Arizona, Navajo pianist Connor Chee began piano lessons at age 6 with Sue Barney, and later Debbie Mitchell. At age 10, his family relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts. While there, he studied under Anna Weinstein and Simon Goykhman.
At age 12, Chee won a gold medal in the World Piano Competition’s Young Artist Division, earning him his first performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In the following years, he went on to win multiple awards in the World Piano Competition, earning performances at the United Nations, and an international feature on CNN.
While in Cincinnati, Chee performed with the Cincinnati Pops, the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. At Age 17, he graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and began studies at the Eastman School of Music under Professor Rebecca Penneys. Chee received his Bachelor of Music from Eastman in 2009, and went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, studying under Professor Elizabeth Pridonoff. Recently, he was awarded a First Prize in the 2016 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and performed in the winners' recital at Carnegie Hall. He also received the award for "Best Instrumental Recording" at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards for his album "The Navajo Piano."
In addition to winning "Best Instrumental Recording," Chee was also nominated for "Best New Artist" and "Record of the Year." The album features original piano compositions and transcriptions based on traditional Navajo chants.
Chee is currently a voting member of The Recording Academy (the GRAMMY® Awards), and continues to perform throughout the United States. He is currently located in Phoenix, Arizona.
Additional Booking Notes
For home concerts, a tuned piano is generally provided by the host. However, if you do not have a piano, Connor can bring a digital piano (Yamaha P-105). If you do need the digital piano, there will need to be an outlet available very close to where you want the instrument situated. A small table for CDs would also be ideal, but not absolutely necessary.
For larger venues and full concerts, Connor will provide a detailed technical rider to help with your logistical planning. If you would like to see a copy of his standard technical rider, feel free to request one!
This varies greatly depending on your needs and wants. Connor is happy to work with you to create a performance that will please your audience and make a memorable event. He can perform standard classical repertoire (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, etc). He can also offer more contemporary pieces, such as Gershwin transcriptions, music from movies, and jazz-inspired compositions. Connor also provides top-40 pop music, and can generally accommodate requests.
Influences & Inspiration
Connor is classically trained, and earned a master's degree in piano performance. His musical background is largely rooted in standard classical repertoire. However, his earliest musical influences were traditional Navajo chants (performed by his grandfather). Recently, he has merged his classical background with his traditional Navajo roots to create a unique set of solo piano pieces.