”Quentin plays with the beat, off the beat, around the beat. And that’s just the beat. Melody, harmony, touch and feel are all fully developed and realized and paramount in every phrase…” -Clarke Monthly
Quentin Walston is an active composer, pianist, and music educator in Northern Virginia. He composes for piano and his jazz combo, blending memorable melodies and striking rhythms with adventurous improvisations. As an educator, he teaches lessons and classes to individuals of all ages in areas of jazz, improv, and composition.
Quentin Walston was introduced to improvisation surprisingly through bluegrass and folk music. As the harmonica player in the folk band Jake and the Burtones, Quentin fostered a passion for improvising solos while appreciating the musicianship of others around him. Once that budding interest crossed over to his enthusiasm for piano, Quentin shortly began playing and learning jazz. Quentin went on to study jazz and piano at James Madison University, focusing on improvisation, composition, and arranging.
Quentin Walston released his first jazz EP, “Introduction”, in 2017. This debut recording of jazz standards, performed solo and trio, displayed his arranging and improvisation style. In 2019, Quentin released his first full-length LP “Play“. The album keeps to its namesake by excitedly playing with different combinations of piano, bass, drum set, saxophone, trumpet, organ, and guitar. From the funky bass line of “Fox Talks Voice Box“, to the blending harmonies of sax and trumpet in “Atmosphere“, to bright and spirited rhythms of “Off Menu” or the tender melody of “Love Is A Smile“, the eight compositions and one arrangement of this album showcase Quentin’s full compositional voice.
In 2020, Quentin was awarded the Loudoun Arts COLLAB Artist Residency in which he composed “Loudoun Pastorale”, a suite for Classical instruments which was inspired by artwork of his local countryside. Instrumentation includes piano, cello, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon. Selected recordings from the suite can be heard on YouTube.
Quentin Walston can be heard performing solo, in his own bands, and as the pianist of Sweet Something in the Virginia, Washington D.C. Metropolitan, and Maryland (DMV) area. In addition to performing, Quentin also teaches at The Catoctin School of Music in Leesburg, Virginia.
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