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Monica Xiao

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I am a pianist and a self-taught composer.
I started playing the piano at age 6, and the piano was never supposed to be a professional part of my life. Nevertheless, I had a very strict professor from the Music Academy of Wuhan, and in 8 years of classical music training, I could play most classical pieces out there. As planned, I went on for my master’s degree in Architecture, and later got a job in Malta. When I was all alone in Malta in my little top floor apartment, I got into composing piano music, and the joy I got from composing had nothing to compare with. It brought me to my first album Piano Droplets. It was the same time when I discovered several jazz pianists like Giovanni Mirabassi and Hiromi who later became the inspirations of my works. In 2013 my piano solo piece Burst into Waltz won the Abilu Music Award.
After leaving Malta for family reasons, I went to the US and studied jazz piano in the University of Notre Dame, taking lessons from Larry Dwyer who is a prominent jazz pianist/trombonist. I got to play in the ND jazz band as well as in music lounge and venues as a soloist. It was also at that time I started playing the jazz standards and composing jazz covers and originals.
After relocating to France, I spent a lot of time listening to jazz. While travelling in North Africa, I composed a set three jazz fusion pieces that feature African percussions, which completed my second album Southern Wind, Northern Sand, published in 2017.

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