Described by NPR host Jon Weber as “a visionary composer, an extraordinary jazz pianist and a very bright young rising star in the jazz world”, Romain Collin continues to develop his vision, combining the tradition of improvisation with sound designing and classical music. Now releasing his second record as a leader, Collin keeps making his mark on the New York scene, as well as internationally.
In 2007, Romain Collin graduated from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz where he held a Full Scholarship as the pianist of an ensemble handpicked by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard. During his time at the TMIJ, Romain studied with the likes of Larry Goldings, Russell Ferrante, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller and Wynton Marsalis, and had the opportunity to tour with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter in Vietnam and India. The TMI band also shared the stage with artists such as Marcus Miller, Jimmy Heath, and Terence Blanchard; and performed at a Kennedy Center concert hosted by Quincy Jones and featuring Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, Joshua Redman and John Patitucci amongst numerous others.
Romain, who was originally born in France, came to the US to attend Berklee College of Music (class of 2004) on a scholarship, where he studied performance with the likes of Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano while majoring in Music Synthesis. During that time, he got the opportunity to perform with drummer Kenwood Dennard, keyboardist/composer George Duke, and also co-produced the critically acclaimed album Moving by prodigious bassist Tony Grey (John McLaughlin, Hiromi). One of the tracks, White Woods, appeared on a Tribute to Weather Report compilation album (ESC Records, 2005 – also featuring performances by the late Tony Williams, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Dennis Chambers and others). Romain’s performance on the piece was described by All About Jazz as “a transcendent electric keyboard spot…A five-and-a-half star moment”.
In 2009, Collin released The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn (Fresh Sound), a record described by All About Jazz writer Phil Di Pietro as “an astonishingly mature and ambitious debut that secures Collin a placeholder in the continuing evolution of the grand tradition of the piano trio”. The record received rave reviews internationally and made it to New York Jazz critic David Adler’s list of notable debuts of 2009. Distributed in stores as well as digitally, The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn got radio airplay throughout France, Japan and the US – including a special feature on WNYC Culture program. Collin was recently invited by legendary pianist Marian McPartland to her prestigious Piano Jazz show on NPR to perform solo piano and to talk about his second record, scheduled for release early 2012 on Palmetto Records. This album, entitled The Calling, was produced by Matt Pierson (Brad Mehldau, Kirk Whalum, Joshua Redman) and features a power rhythm section in rising stars Kendrick Scott on drums and Luques Curtis on bass.
Currently based in NYC, Romain performs with his trio in the US and abroad. Notable shows include Tokyo Jazz Festival, Cyprus Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Angel City Jazz Festival, Cotton Club Tokyo and NY performances at the Blue Note, Steinway Hall, Smalls and Kitano. While furthering his career as a leader, Romain continues to explore various musical genres as a sideman, performing and/or recording for artists such as Ms. Lauryn Hill, Fredrika Stahl (Sony, BMG), Tony Grey (ObliqSound), Makoto Hirahara (Columbia), Jorscan (co-production of the self-tiled debut jorScan), vibist Chris Dingman , saxophonist Tim Green and bassist Joe Sanders. Romain has also scored short movies including Vlada Subotic’s award winning About Me (2010), and Gleb Osatinski’s Pisces of an Unconscious Mind (2011).