A native of Winnipeg and now residing in Toronto, pianist Bernie Senensky has earned the reputation of being one of Canada's premier jazz artists. His playing and his music has been featured internationally in many great jazz festivals, and he is recognized and respected as one of the foremost jazz accompanists in the world.

Bernie began playing piano at the age of eight, and became interested in jazz when he was fourteen, at which time he studied with Winnipeg legend Bob Erlendson. He began sitting in with local groups, which included guitarist Lenny Breau and bassist Dave Young, eventually bringing his promising jazz talents to the jazz scene in Edmonton. Before long, he landed a job leading a house band with the Holiday Inn Hotel chain, which,with a stroke of fate, took him to Toronto in 1968. In the fertile jazz mecca of Toronto, he quickly established himself as an accompanist, playing for and with a great variety of visiting musicians.

Bernie has released eight albums since 1975, consisting almost entirely of his own compositions. Two of his albums have been nominated for Juno awards:

"Friday the 14th" received a Juno nomination for Best Jazz Album of 1989.

"Wheel Within A Wheel" received a Juno nomination for Best Jazz Album of 1993.

He was the only Canadian guest on "Oscar Peterson Presents", a CTV National TV series. He has also been a guest on the Marian McPartland public radio show "Piano Jazz", broadcast both in Canada and the U.S. In addition, Bernie has been featured on CBC radio and TV, and many of his concerts have been recorded by CBC (Jazz Beat), CJRT-FM (The Jazz Scene), and Global-TV (Sounds Impressive).

As well as being an accomplished pianist, composer, and arranger of jazz works, Bernie composed, arranged, conducted, and performed the musical score for the documentary film "The Vegetarian World", which has had world-wide distribution.

Influenced by the likes of Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock, his distinct style appeals to an international audience. He says, "My style, you could say, is an amalgamation of the legacies these artists have created".

Bernie has worked with many jazz greats. Among them are:


Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Lenny Breau, Larry Coryell, Herb Ellis, Tisziji Munoz, Peter Leitch, Sonny Greenwich, Bucky Pizzarelli & Joe Pass


Art Pepper, Norris Turney, Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, George Coleman, Bob Berg, Gary Bartz, Clifford Jordan, Chris Potter, Sonny Fortune, Lew Tabackin, Bobby Watson, James Moody, Charles McPherson, Craig Handy, Donald Harrison, Sonny Stitt, Scott Hamilton, Pepper Adams, Don Menza, Flip Phillips, Johnny Griffin, Nick Brignola, Frank Morgan, Dave Leibman & Junior Cook


Art Farmer, Eddie Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Blue Mitchell, Red Rodney, Jon Faddis, Sam Noto, Donald Byrd, Woody Shaw, Terence Blanchard, Jack Sheldon, Lew Soloff, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, Dizzy Reese, Ruby Braff, Kenny Wheeler, Clark Terry, Warren Vache, Bill Berry, Pete Candoli, Joe Newman & Chet Baker


Rob McConnell, Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Britt Woodman, Al Grey & Bill Watrous


Terry Gibbs, Stefan Bauer, Don Thompson & Peter Appleyard. Flautists Herbie Mann & Moe Koffman


Joe Williams, Sheila Jordan, Ann-Marie Moss, Mark Murphy, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Abbey Lincoln, Salome Bey & Ernestine Anderson


Buddy DeFranco


Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Marty Morell, Jake Hanna, Jimmy Madison, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Terry Clarke, Billy Cobham, Akira Tana, Bob Moses, Jimmie Smith & Don Lamond


Keeter Betts, Lonnie Plaxico, David Williams, Ray Drummond, Harvie Swartz, Jack Lesberg, Eugene Wright, Don Pate, Cecil McBee, Michel Donato, Slam Stewart, Neil Swainson, Don Thompson, Todd Coolman & Major Holly

Piano Duets with:

Oscar Peterson, Marian McPartland

Bernie has performed with the Elvin Jones Quartet, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Buddy DeFranco Quartet, the Terry Gibbs Quartet, the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, the Boss Brass, the Moe Koffman Quintet, the Randy Brecker/Billy Cobham Quartet, the Herbie Mann/Al Grey All-Star Septet, and the Rufus Reid/Akira Tana group TANAREID.

He has recorded with Moe Koffman, Dizzy Gillespie, Eugene Amaro, Salome Bey, Herbie Spanier, Peter Appleyard, Tisziji Munoz, Gary Bartz, Akira Tana, Harvie Swartz, Ray Drummond, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Bobby Watson, Marty Morell, Fred Stone, Nick Brignola, Kenny Wheeler, Craig Handy, Ted Moses, Ed Bickert, Claude Ranger, Michel Donato, Dave Liebman, Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, Terry Clarke, Bob Mover, Sam Noto, Neil Swainson, Pat LaBarbera, Jerry Fuller, Guillerme Franco, Keiran Overs, Barry Elmes, John MacLeod, Don Alias, Eddie Henderson, Chris Potter and Dennis Irwin.

Bernie's compositions have been recorded by Buddy DeFranco, Re Rodney, Lynn McDonald, Moe Koffman, Ed Bickert, Eugene Amaro, Don Thompson, Becca Duran, Arlene Smith and Dick Berk.

Comments from other musicians about Bernie:

"One of the finest pianists I have worked with in my career" - Elvin Jones.

"The Best of the Best" - Buddy DeFranco.

"I could just sit and listen to him play all day" - Bill Evans.

"You have one of the best jazz piano players anywhere right here in your midst.." - Donald Harrison.

About his appearance at the Montreal Jazz Festival 1997:

"As gifted an accompanist as a soloist, Bernie Senensky has aquired an untouchable reputation among pianists the world over. Based in Toronto for almost thirty years, Senensky has quietly compiled a track record of nine albums and a long list of performances alongside jazz's biggest names, including Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams and Elvin Jones. If the great Bill Evans, who influenced so many among modern pianists, once said that "I could just sit and listen to him all day", then you know this is a show not to be missed."

"Aussi doue comme accompagnateur que comme soliste, Bernie Senensky s'est acquis, parmi les pianistes de jazz, une reputation mondiale jamais dementie. Base a Toronto depuis pres de trente ans, Senensky cumule, mine de rien, neuf albums a son actif et de fort nombreuses participations aupres des plus grands, notamment Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams et Elvin Jones. Si le grand Bill Evans, qui a inspire tant de pianistes modernes, disait de lui: & laquo; Je pourrais m'asseoir et l'ecouter jouer toute la journee & raquo;c'est sans aucun doute un spectacle a ne pas rater."


As leader:

"The Chalet Sessions" Unity 162
"Rhapsody" Timeless CD SJP 434
"Homeland" Timeless CD SJP 426
"Wheel Within a Wheel" Timeless CD SJP 410
"Re-Action" Unity 123
"Fun & Games" Unity 112
"Friday the 14th" Unity 104
"Free Spirit" PM Records 021
"New Life" PM Records 006
German pressing of:
"New Life"
Happy Bird B90041
"Bernie Senensky Trio" RCI 416


"Momentum" Moe Koffman Duke Street 31036
"One Moe Time" Moe Koffman Duke Street 31023
"Quintet Plays" Moe Koffman Duke Street DSRD 31060 (LP)
Devil's Brew Moe Koffman Duke Street DSRSD 31100
"Oop Pop A Da" Dizzy Gillespie/Moe Koffman Duke Street DSRD 31048
"The Tenor Saxophone of Eugene Amaro" Eugene Amaro CTL S5122
"Twilight Time" Eugene Amaro United Artists UA-LA561G
"Eugene Amaro" Eugene Amaro Innovation JCCT 0016
"Salome Bey" Salome Bey CTL SV-1852
"Salome Bey" Salome Bey CBC Radio Canada 0016
"Peter Appleyard Presents" Peter Appleyard Salisbury Labs SALS 020001
"Peter Appleyard" Peter Appleyard CTL
"Rendezvous With Love" Tiszji Munoz India Navigation IN 1034
"Visiting this Planet" Tiszji Munoz Anami 001
"Hearing Voices" Tiszji Munoz Anami 003
"Live at Page Hall" Tiszji Munoz Anami 004
"Live again at Page" Tiszji Munoz Anami 005
"Live again at Page" Dave Leibman Anami 006
"Spirit Man" Nick Brignola Anami 008-CD
"Death is a Friend of Mine" Nick Brignola Anami 009-CD
"Forensic Perturbations" Herbie Spanier RCI 376
"The Music of Fred Stone" Fred Stone RCI 377
"Mother Necessity Band" Ted Moses CBC LM-459
"Swing that Music" Paul Grosney Leo 1001
"Joe Coughlin" Joe Coughlin Acquitaine AQU 13
"Coast to Coast" Stefan Bauer Igmod IG-49702-2
"After Hours" Levon Ichkhanian Mediterrano LIP 1068-2



Phone/Fax: (416) 736-7484

Email: [email protected]