Geni Skendo is a virtuoso musician (Boston Globe) who has gained recognition for his unique blend of jazz, free jazz, and world music. Born and raised in Albania, Geni had a successful performing career before moving to the US in 2003 to further develop his jazz skills. He studied at the Berklee College of Music and The New England Conservatory, where he earned his Master's degree and became deeply involved in the Boston music scene.
Geni is a sought-after performer and has played with various ensembles, including Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica, which won the Best World Music Act award in the 2012 Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll. He has also been featured in the Downbeat Magazine Artist of the Year poll.
Geni also leads two groups of his own. The Albanian/Jazz/Ambience group "Astronauts of Albania" blends traditional Albanian music with jazz and ambient music, while the Samurai Jazz Trio is a free improvised chamber music group featuring shakuhachi, bass/shamisen, and piano.
Geni has released three CDs, including his most recent, Acoustic Cowboy, which features his original compositions and new arrangements of songs from Olivier Messiaen, African pygmies, and the Balkans. With his exceptional talent and unique sound, Geni Skendo continues to inspire and delight audiences worldwide.
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