Bernie Senensky

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Bernie Senensky
Birth nameBernard Melvin Senensky
Born (1944-12-31) December 31, 1944 (age 73)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsPiano, organ
Years active1970s–present
Associated actsMoe Koffman

Bernard Melvin "Bernie" Senensky (born December 31, 1944) is a Canadian jazz pianist, organist, and composer.

Life and career[edit]

Senensky was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on December 31, 1944.[1][2] He had classical piano lessons from the age of nine and became interested in jazz at about 15.[2][3] He had one jazz teacher, and thereafter was self-taught.[3]

He moved permanently to Toronto in 1968.[2] He played briefly with high-profile visiting musicians, including Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Art Farmer, and Art Pepper.[3] Senensky played with Moe Koffman between 1980 and 2000; they toured internationally for several years.[3] Senensky has recorded several small group albums since 1975.[4]

Playing style and influences[edit]

Senensky described himself as "essentially a bebop player, and beyond. My heroes are anyone from Bud Powell to McCoy Tyner to Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock".[3] Senensky was influenced on organ by Larry Goldings, Mike LeDonne, and Larry Young.[3] The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz states that "His playing is characterized by his obvious comfort in a wide range of styles, from swing to the assertive post-bop of his own groups."[4]


An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1975 New Life PM Trio, with Michel Donato (bass), Marty Morell (drums)
1989 Friday the 14th Unity Trio, with Kieran Overs (bass), Barry Elmes (drums)
1991 Re: Action Unity Septet
1991 Homeland Timeless Quartet, with Gary Bartz (alto sax, soprano sax), Harvie Swartz (bass), Akira Tana (drums)
1993 Wheel Within a Wheel Timeless Quartet, with Bobby Watson (alto sax, soprano sax), Ray Drummond (bass), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums)
1996 Rhapsody Timeless Trio, with Jim Vivian (bass), Bob Moses (drums)
1995 New Horizons Timeless Quintet, with Kirk McDonald (sax), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Neil Swainson (bass), Jerry Fuller (drums)

Main source:[5]


  1. ^ "Bernie Senensky – Biography". Canadian Jazz Archive. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott "Bernie Senensky". AllMusic. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hum, Peter (September 23, 2014) "The Bernie Senensky Interview". Ottawa Citizen.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Mark "Senensky, Bernie (Bernard Melvyn)". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 May 2015. (Subscription required).
  5. ^ "Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 16, 2015.