The Boston Globe calls Geni Skendo a “virtuoso,” creating a unique blend of jazz, free jazz and world music. After a successful performing career in his native Albania, Geni moved to the US in 2003 to raise his jazz playing to a higher level. Studies at the Berklee College of Music and The New England Conservatory (MM) led to a deep, ongoing involvement with the Boston music scene. Geni performs with Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica (Best World Music Act, Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll, 2012), in both its quartet and big-band incarnations. The quartet utilizes Geni’s full palette, while the big band relies heavily on Geni’s powerful bass flute in its recreation of long-lost arrangements by the legendary Mexican arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel. Geni leads the Albanian/Jazz/Ambience group “Astronauts of Albania” and the free improvised chamber music group, Samurai Jazz Trio, consisting of shakuhachi, bass/shamisen and piano. Geni has released three CDs, most recently Acoustic Cowboy, featuring original compositions and new arrangements of songs from Olivier Messiaen, African pygmies and the Balkans.
Geni has performed with the Violent Femmes • Bob Moses • Matt Marvuglio • Allan Chase, Joe Morris, Jerry Leake, Brian O’Neil, John Lockwood, Bob Gulioti, Bob Nitscke • Felice Pomeranz • Dave Clark • Elena Zoubareva • David Fiuczynski • Mark Walker • Sal Difusco • Joe Hunt • Dave Harris • Jerry Beaudin • NewPoli.
Geni’s recording credits include CDs with Joe Morris, Orchestrotica, Dave Fuze, Newpoli, and Elena Zoubareva. As a bandleader, he released two CDs: “Portraits: Contemporary Duets for Shakuhachi & Piano” and “Stella,” a global jazz album.
In 2009, he published an instructional shakuhachi play-along book that teaches traditional Japanese Minyo folk songs, and 2011 he released a woodwind book with exercises derived from Messiaen modes.
Geni currently performs with these groups:
“Astronauts of Albania”
Astronauts of Albania is a groundbreaking project that fuses traditional Albanian folk music with jazz, electronics, and world music for a truly original sound. Don’t know anything about Albanian folk music? Now’s your chance to find out!
Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica
Referencing the exotica of Martin Denny, Milt Raskin, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich among others, Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica—as a vibraphone quartet—presents an original third-stream collection of updated jazz, chamber, and world music reaching towards the South Pacific via Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Latin America. Led by multi-percussionist, vibraphonist and composer Brian O’Neill (Mr. Ho) with bass flute/woodwinds (Geni Skendo), percussion (Noriko Terada), and acoustic bass (Jason Davis).
Samurai Jazz Trio.
Shakuhachi , Shamisen, Piano