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Led by visionary pianist Leo Tardin, Grand Pianoramax is a loose-knit group project featuring keyboards, drums, and MC/vocalists and showcasing a musical style that draws from jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and spoken word. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, and based in New York City since graduating from the New School University in 2000, Tardin first made a name for himself after winning the 1999 Montreux Jazz Festival International Piano Solo Competition. He made his recording debut as Grand Pianoramax in 2004 with the 12" EP Starlite. Released by the ObliqSound label and graced by remixes from Nuspirit Helsinki and Domu, the EP is a collaboration between Tardin, drummer Jojo Mayer, and producer Michele Locatelli. The full-length album debut Grand Pianoramax followed in 2005 on ObliqSound, and features drummer Derenc Nemeth as well as Mayer. The follow-up album, The Biggest Piano in Town (2008), found Tardin teaming up again with a talented pair of drummers -- Deantoni Parks (whose credits include the Mars Volta) and Adam Deitch (Talib Kweli) -- but unlike the previous album, it also featured a variety of MC/vocalists, namely Mike Ladd, Celena Glenn, Invincible, and Spleen. In addition to these studio albums, Tardin took his Grand Pianoramax project on the road, performing live shows with a variety of keyboards/drums/vocals lineups, depending on the when and where of the show, as he traveled back and forth from the United States to Europe. ~ Jason Birchmeier