Winner of the Rising Star–Organ category in DownBeat’s 2016 Critics Poll, Bianchi has spent long hours alone at the organ developing his command of the instrument. Nowadays, he has a well-earned reputation as a bandleader and educator.

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He went on to become one of the monster Hammond B3 organists on today's scene. But an unusual aspect of that ascendency is that he started on organ, not taking the usual path of starting on piano at a young age and later discovering the organ and falling in love with it.

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There are so many musicians that have influenced me. Of course the biggest influences are the musicians I have worked for and with. I was very fortunate to be mentored by many great musicians.

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New York organ master Pat Bianchi is part of the instrument’s elite corps, a player who can be found on stages with alto saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master Lou Donaldson, vibraphone great Joe Locke, and Pat Martino.

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"We were in the middle of the gig, and Lou asked me if I knew 'The Masquerade Is Over,'" says Bianchi. "I said, 'No, I didn't know it.' He said — right on stage — 'Well, you're going to learn it right now.'  

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