Mike Renzi

Jazz, Composer, Arranger


Coming soon…

Members of the Historical Archive Committee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame are researching and documenting the career of this important Ocean State musician. When work is completed, we will be posting an in-depth biography and complete discography on this page. In the meantime, please enjoy this introduction to his work.

By the time Providence born pianist Mike Renzi was 13, he had already gotten his union card and begun his professional career. Word spread rapidly about his extraordinary skills as an improviser and he soon found himself leading the house band at legendary Rhode Island jazz clubs The Kings & Queens and Allary while earning degrees from the Boston Conseratory and Berklee. When he moved to New York in 1976, his experiences backing jazz greats back in Rhode Island such as Ben Webster, Bobby Brookmeyer and Art Farmer and vocalists Chris Connor, Blossom Dearie and Mark Murphy served him well. He started out with Mel Torme and was quickly recognized as a superlatively gifted and intuitive vocal accompanist and arranger which launched a stellar career accompanying and acting as music director for the finest singers of the 20th century including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Cleo Laine, Carol Sloane, Maureen McGovern and, most recently, Tony Bennett. All along the way, Mike pursued a parallel career working in television and movies and racked up an astounding 17 Emmy nominations with 7 wins for Music Direction and Composition. Due to his busy schedule, Mike has released only a handful of recordings as a leader or co-leader, but his legacy as a jazz pianist is secured by his appearances on more than 100 internationally released albums and two Grammy nominations.