Winners Circle

Piano Bio's

 
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chris Hatfield

Chris Hatfield hails from Nashville, Tennessee, but he grew up in a musical family on the mean streets of Columbia, Missouri.  He started playing drums at 2 years old and credits his singing ability to a childhood filled with singing in choirs and among friends and family.  Chris found the world of dueling pianos in 2008 where he started out as the house drummer for The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar in his home town.  Over the past 8 years, Chris has traveled the world and performed at some of the US's top dueling piano bars.  Chris's musical stylings are heavily influenced by Brian McKnight and Boyz 2 Men!  He loves his R&B!  When he's not performing at dueling piano clubs, he continues to write and produce his own music from his home in Nashville.    

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jim paquette

Jim hails from Long Island, NY, although he "retired" early and technically lives in south Florida.  Jim is a veteran of dueling pianos who started out at "Howl at the Moon" in Fort Lauderdale back in 1998.  Jim is a multi instrumentalist, vocalist, performer, songwriter, and stand-up comedian.  Jim performers regularly at some of the US's top dueling piano clubs, and he has also released three comedy music albums.  When he's not performing at dueling piano clubs, he continues to write and perform his own music from his home in Florida.

 

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Steve savage

Steve Savage hails from the great State of New Jersey where he started playing piano under the tutelage of a little Italian woman who lived a few blocks away from the house where he grew up.  He studied the craft of dueling pianos in Boston under Matt Mello of the legendary Jake Ivory's across from Fenway Park on Landsdowne Street.  When he was 26 he relocated to Singapore where he worked for Howl at the Moon and developed his stage performance antics!  Over the past 10 years Steve has traveled extensively throughout the US, Europe, and the Caribbean performing in various lounges, piano bars, and dueling piano clubs far and wide.  Steve currently resides in New York City where he hosts the Piano Barbarians Podcast (available on iTunes) that features interviews with many of the industry's top players!  He is a huge fan of New Orleans piano specialists such as Dr. John, Jon Cleary, Harry Connick Jr., and Professor Longhair, but he also has a huge passion for 90s Hip Hop music.  Dueling Pianos gives him the opportunity to regularly demonstrate his passion for a wide variety of musical styles and genres.    

 

 

 

 

Eddie Mondress


When Eddie was just old enough to be walking home from school alone he trash picked a crappy plastic toy guitar. The 7-year old Eddie then began his career as most young children do--singing tragic blues songs about loose women who done him wrong. He didn't start playing piano until after college, at first self-taught, then under the tutelage of Jimmy Amadie who was Mel Torme's accompanist in the early 60's. Eddie played piano bars in NYC since 2000, but quickly became hooked on dueling pianos after seeing his first show in 2007. Since then he's played all over Europe, the Caribbean and the 48 states including Carnegie Hall in NYC. In 2011 he started a private event entertainment company called New York, NY Dueling Pianos. His company was invited to set up the show here in St. Thomas and currently books all of the talent for the Keys. 

 

Dean Madonia

A Nashville trained songwriter, performer, producer and visual artist, Dean has performed in various musicals, a children’s television show, recorded with over 40 bands, released 10 CDs and opened for such diverse acts as: New Grass Revival, Steve Vai, Dee Dee Ramone, Company B, Dottie West, The Romantics, and Ygnwie Malmsteen . 
He has had songs placed in the movies “Foodfight!” and “The Stream,”  with indy artists, Trent Jeffcoat, David G. Smith, Jordan Grant Meredith and major label artist Tim Dugger on Curb Records.  His latest project is a concept CD, “Shadow To Shadow, Dean Madonia’s Frankenstein.”

Dean began his career in dueling pianos in 1998 at "Howl At the Moon," in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa. He moved to Nashville to focus on songwriting in 2002 and performed a dueling show on the "General Jackson" paddlewheel for 2 years. He was the Entertainment Director of the Nashville piano bar, “Chitown," from 2004 to 2005,  and freelanced coast-to-coast until he relocated to Michigan in 2015 where he is now the entertainment director/player at Monaco Bay in Kalamazoo.

MATT TOBIN

Described by his mother as "her youngest child," Matt started playing the violin at age five, made his illustrious stage debut as "Puppet #2" in the Eastbury Elementary School's 1992 production of PINOCCHIO, and spent several years honing his piano chops as Co-Captain of his high school math team.  In college Matt skipped many a party to stay home and plunk out Ben Folds and R. Kelly songs; now, his entire life is a party.  Matt is active in the dueling piano circuit throughout the New York / New England area, has performed at Dueling Piano bars in 17 states, in Europe and on cruise ships throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean.  A third-place finisher in the 2015 O. Henry Pun-Off, he is widely considered one of the 500 best violinist-pianist-rapper-punsters in the Northeast.  He grows his own beard. 

Joel Norman 

S. Joel Norman began playing music at age four at the piano.  "Mom probably got sick of me pounding on her antique piano as a toddler, so she put me in lessons." he says. Hailing from the south suburbs of Chicago, Norman got his musical start playing and composing gospel music in the church where working musicians were quick to nurture his talents.  He was out playing gigs with them by the time he was in junior high.  He went on to study at Wheaton Conservatory of Music, where he began composing and arranging pieces for orchestra, chorus, and jazz ensemble.  He was also commissioned by Arena Theater, Northern Illinois University, and Workout Theater for scores to their theatrical productions including "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Madwoman of Chaillot."  He also has won multiple awards at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival, was a tenor in the Northwest Indiana Symphony, played Chicago's largest independent music festival at the late Congress Theater, directed music at the largest RCA church in the world, and holds the all-time Wheaton College high score in the original NES game Duck Hunt.  Joel currently resides in Chicago where he works on his own original music (check out his latest albums "Take it in Stride" and "Traveling Light") while dazzling audiences around the world on dueling piano stages where he is considered a player's player among some of the best in the business.  Joel is happy to bring his soulful gospel sound to The Keys in St Thomas.  

vince strong

Vince Strong was raised in Rhinelander, a small town in Northern Wisconsin. As a child, Vince learned to play the piano, and later discovered his other musical interests in singing and playing the guitar and drums. Throughout junior high and high school, Vince was an active member of the music community earning many awards in district and state for vocals and piano as well as participating in the Wisconsin State Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble. 

Vince has completed 2 programs at the nationally known McNally & Smith College of Music in Vocal Performance and Advanced Studio Performance. Vince has also studied in Piano Performance and Songwriting while at the College. Vince's performance credits are: Performing the national anthem at a Minnesota Timberwolves game, A Burning Hills Singer in the "Medora Musical", various coffee houses/clubs in Minneapolis, various coffee houses/clubs in Nashville, and 3 original CD's.

Currently you can find Vince playing in piano bars all over the nation and the sea! Vince regularly plays in the insanely popular "Dueling Piano Bars" all around the nation. And since 2005 Vince has been a Piano Bar Entertainer with Carnival Cruise Lines playing all over the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Vince Strong has many unique musical talents to provide to the musical industry as he has shown thus far worldwide.