Witkowski’s playing is consistently thrilling, and her musical imagination seems boundless.
–All Music Guide
If, among contemporary pianists, Brad Mehldau and Bill Charlap represent the gold standard, then Deanna Witkowski deservedly ranks as their sterling sister.
On Raindrop: Improvisations with Chopin:
If ever there was an album that transcends genres, it’s Deanna Witkowski’s gorgeous new CD, Raindrop: Improvisations With Chopin. On her fifth album, the pianist combines three of her passions: Chopin, jazz, and the music of Brazil. She does it so seamlessly that it sounds perfectly natural when Chopin’s “Nocturne in E Minor, Opus 72, No. 1″ is fused with Luiz Bonfá and Antônio Maria’s “Manhã de Carnaval.”
-Ron Netsky, City Newspaper
I promise that your library doesn’t own another jazz or classical album anything like this, and it needs to own this one. –Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist
-Brad Stone, SoulandJazz.com
A solo piano set with a lot of depth, Witkowski is a modern soloist that’s out to set new standards. An artistic set that never turns artsy, Raindrop is just one of those subtle gems that grabs hold and doesn’t let go.
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record
The first track is a version of one of the most well known pieces of Chopin: the Nocturne in E-flat major (Op. 9, No. 2). It’s a delicious overture to Raindrop, in which Witkowski calls attention to the importance of the recording’s subtitle, Improvisations with Chopin. Namely, improvisations “with” Chopin, as if the canonized classical music genius was at her side in the recording studio.
-Luiz Orlando Carneiro, Jornal do Brasil
Deanna Witkowski’s Raindrop is a seamless, sublime celebration of aural landscapes from the European and American Classical traditions (aka Jazz). She allows the music to reveal itself, and we, the listener, are the better for that. Let this soulful, often haunting music in your heart.
–Reuben Jackson, Host, Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio
Witkowski’s interpretations are breathtaking.
-Esther Callens, The Birmingham Times
One of the best of the new generation of jazz piano players.
-Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International
Witkowski is an astonishingly versatile bandleader, capable of playing lush mainstream music one minute and moving comfortably into avant-garde waters the next.
–K. Leander Williams, Time Out New York
It’s amazing how much of Mary Lou Williams you have absorbed. You even have a little bit of her style without copying anything. ‘Wide Open Window’ [Deanna’s original tune for MLW] is a very interesting tune- she [MLW] would have loved that.
-Marian McPartland, speaking to Deanna on Piano Jazz in 2003
Vision and depth with every phrase, chord change and tempo variance make her music universally appealing. Witkowski is the real thing.
-Michael G. Nastos, WEMU, Cadence
Witkowski’s voice and McCaslin’s soprano saxophone sound as if they were created to play together, a magical blend in harmony.
-Don McClenaghan, All About Jazz
Witkowski is not far from jazz stardom with her keyboard techniques, her imaginative composing and arranging, and her wordless vocalizing. Remember her name.
-Harvey Siders, JazzTimes
**** rating [for Length of Days]…Witkowski’s sheer musicality is abundantly evident, from a well-developed sense of line and harmony in composition, to the airily individual takes on standards like ‘Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo,’ ‘In the Still of the Night’ and ‘I’m Beginning to See the Light.’
-Ray Comiskey, Irish Times
Witkowski’s unique combination of skills: her talent, commitment and clarity of vision, leave many other contemporary jazz artists in the dust. She’s an original!
-Don Glasgo, Dartmouth College
Wide Open Window will refuse to allow you to file it away and forget about. It’s too different and too vital. Bravo, Ms. Witkowski.
-Ken Egbert, Jazz Now
Witkowski copped first place in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition and this release [Wide Open Window] shows why.
-Len Dobbin, Montreal Mirror
A vibrant young pianist with a clear musical vision.
-Chuy Varela, JazzTimes
Witkowski focuses on the distinct expressivity of instrumental music and on the balance of emotion and intellect unique to unadulterated jazz.
-Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader
Exceptional taste and imagination, considerable harmonic resourcefulness, and the rare ability to shed striking new light on familiar material.
-Terry Teachout, critic for The New York Times
Witkowski is a wonderfully gifted pianist with a strong sense of beauty and harmony, but I was unprepared for how natural and affecting her voice is. Her technical skills as a singer nearly match her keyboard prowess, but in both cases, what she most powerfully conveys is emotional truth.
-Joseph Taylor, SoundStageAV.com
Following the hallowed path of Mary Lou Williams, pianist and vocalist Deanna Witkowski devotes her fourth album [From This Place] exclusively to the blending of jazz and liturgy, drawing on scripture, the Mass, 19th-century poetry and original verses to build this expansive house of musical worship. Four notes into saxophonist Donny McCaslin’s bluesy intro to ‘Let My Prayer Rise’ it becomes evident how invigorating this marriage of secular and spiritual will be.”
-Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
A distinctive pianist and composer who plays with imagination, sensitivity, and fire.
An extraordinary talent whose music speaks articulately with elegance, honesty and beauty.
Piano profundo, sentido, solitario. Deanna toca como quem escreve uma carta para alguem que nao existe. Seu piano anuncia todos os outonos.
Translation: Profound, full of feeling, solitary piano. Deanna plays as if she were writing a letter to someone who does not exist. Her piano announces all the autumns yet to come.
-Guinga, renowned Brazilian guitarist/composer/vocalist
BIO AND RESUMÉ