Born: May 17, 1947 Primary Instrument: Piano
Jim DeSalvo was raised in Yonkers, New York, and was introduced to music at an early age by his father, trumpeter and bandleader Conrad Connie DeSalvo. While still a teenager, Jim mastered thousands of standards and logged countless hours on the bandstand playing club dates with vocalists and dance bands. In his later high school years, Jim began studying with Johnny Knapp, famous for his work with Tal Farlow's trio, instilling a precocious bebop proficiency.
After graduating, Jim enrolled at New York College of Music. While in school he became acquainted with fellow students Kenny Dorham and Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and began receiving attention for his unique synthesis of the styles of the great pianists of the time, most notably Bill Evans, whose music Jim holds in particularly high regard.
He befriended fellow pianist Mitch Kerper and began sitting in regularly with legendary players in the creative club environment of late sixties Greenwich Village. Kerper was responsible for introducing Jim to saxophonist Steve Grossman who encouraged him, and had a profound influence over Jim's development as an improviser. Jim began sitting in every Sunday with Grossman's group, which also featured bassist Clint Houston and drummer Lenny White, at the legendary Slug's Saloon.
After graduating college, Jim became a student Sal Mosca, a disciple of Lennie Tristano. Mosca furthered Jim's harmonic mastery and introduced him to the Joseph Schillinger system of musical composition, which had a tremendous impact on his early writing and arranging. At this time Jim also took periodic lessons with Chick Corea, Richie Beirach, and Bobby Timmons.
Jim became active in the loft scene of the early seventies, and performed downtown with artists such as Bob Berg and Charlie Haden. He secured a gig in the house rhythm section at a dive bar in Hell's Kitchen and had the pleasure of working with Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Gonsalves, Philly Joe Jones, and Joe Farrell.
In recent years, he has worked with Richie Cole, Tyrone Brown, Jim Miller, Eliot Zigmund, and Jymie Merritt among others, and has recorded several CDs. He maintains a working trio with bassist Chris Lough and various drummers, performing in numerous venues throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.