Pianist and composer Damian Espinosa grew up in Albuquerque, NM. He spent his formative years studying classical piano and played in several pop/rock and jazz bands over the years. Espinosa eventually studied music at Creighton University in Omaha, NE and received a BA in Classical Piano Performance in 1995. After graduation, Espinosa returned to Albuquerque and started graduate studies in Music Theory & Composition at the University of New Mexico, earning a Master’s Degree in 1999. In 2000, Espinosa moved to Chicago and pursued further graduate studies in music theory at the University of Chicago. At the same time he started playing piano on the local jazz scene. He has since collaborated, performed and recorded with some of the city’s most creative and versatile musicians. As a performer, Espinosa is an in-demand accompanist for singers and can be seen with many different groups - in many different genres. He leads the Damian Espinosa Trio and is a member of the critically-acclaimed group, the Chris Greene Quartet. Espinosa has composed music for the Damian Espinosa Trio, for the Chris Greene Quartet (reviewed several times in DownBeat, Jazz Times, et. al), singers Heather Moran, Myles Hayes and Michele Thomas, various church music as a music director, even live music for the University of Chicago’s showing of the silent film Body & Soul. Damian has also taught various courses in music appreciation, music theory, and piano at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of New Mexico and Wheaton College as well as teaching private piano lessons.
Damian Espinosa has performed at the following venues: Jazz Showcase, Green Mill, Pops for Champagne, Andy's, Baker's Keyboard Lounge, Cliff Bell’s, Elbo Room, Schuba’s, City Winery...
2001 - “Anticipation” - Damian Espinosa Trio
2002 - “The End of the New” - Damian Espinosa Trio
2004 - "jazz" - Chris Greene and New Perspective
2004 - “Heatherland” - Heather Moran
2004 – “Depth” - ESP
2007 - "Soul and Science - Volume One" - Chris Greene Quartet
2008 - "Soul and Science 2 - Electric Boogaloo" - Chris Greene Quartet
2009 - "Merge" - Chris Greene Quartet
2010 - "Playtime" - Chris Greene Quartet
2010 - "Based on a True Story: Live at the Jazz Showcase" (DVD) - Chris Greene Quartet
2012 - " A Group Effort" (CD/DVD) - Chris Greene Quartet
2012 - "Playtime - Volume 2" - Chris Greene Quartet
2014 - "Music Appreciation" - Chris Greene Quartet
2016 - "Playtime - Volume 3" - Chris Greene Quartet
“[Damian] Espinosa’s work is…effective and pleasing”
—Chris Robinson, DownBeat Magazine
“These are powerful jazz songs that reach out to the listener, and seem purposely modern. Damian Espinosa provides that…”
—Brian Gilmore, Jazz Times
“Espinosa works wonders on acoustic piano…”
—Doug Simpson, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION
"The artistry of Damian Espinosa continues to glisten with the eloquence and proficiency of such influential pianist as Hancock, Corea, and Tyner. Their voices seemly intercedes but never overtakes the wealth of talent and imagination that Espinosa possesses as player..."
—Rob Young, www.smooth-jazz.de