Performed with R&B artists Ashanti, Mya, and Robin Thicke, rock legends Journey, and international jazz artists Karen Briggs, Nnenna Freelon, Cindy Bradley, and Jessy J. Eli has travelled and performed all over the world in styles ranging through pop and R&B, Afro-cuban and Brazilian styles, jazz and swing, and go-go and funk.
My experience ranges through decades of live and studio performance in every kind of environment, from bars to stadiums, with jazz, hip-hop, pop, and Latin artists as a keyboardist, vocalist, producer and music director.
I especially enjoy working with vocalists, and my personal experience performing and recording as one gives me special insight and awareness into the particular difficulties of that instrument and the ways they can be overcome.
My work experience has been largely through live performance and in the studio, and I came up as an artist in the street gigs and clubs of Washington D.C. and New York. But I also have a serious classical piano background and a degree in Pipe Organ Performance, as well as intensive study in improvisation as applied to jazz, pop, and classical counterpoint.
My particular area of interest is arranging, and I can create a part or parts for you in a very short time that complements your work in a sophisticated and sensitive way.
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
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2 ReviewsEndorse Eli Staples
Eli's an amazing pianist, singer and band leader. Experienced and skilled beyond belief. Hire him!
Eli is the total package! Playing piano for him is like an extension of his body. Dream it - and he’ll put it to music. He produces with the skill of someone who has lived three lifetimes, spanning genres old and new; the heady and complex to simple, sincere and refreshingly stripped down. He used these vast references to bring my music to life and he can do it for anyone because he truly feels the music in YOU. Few producers make you feel safe enough to be vulnerable and take risks at the same time. Eli oozes with talent and he’s just a great friggin’ guy. Look no further.
Interview with Eli Staples
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My piano playing. I've performed and recorded extensively as a professional pianist and keyboardist in pop, jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, R&B, hip-hop, tango, and lots more. If you need a piano part, I can create one that fits your piece, whatever the genre. Outside of the very top end of classical solo piano repertoire, I'm your guy.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think I bring a real passion about making music that is clear and straightforward in its message. I have had a very extensive musical education, but I believe that good music should be something that can be heard and appreciated to some degree, by someone with no training and just an open mind.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to have a conversation with my clients that gets me as close as possible to understanding their aesthetic goals. Then I lay out a very basic framework that suggests a direction and share that with the client, so we can be sure that we're achieving the desired result before we spend too much time in one direction. I then flesh out the basic structure, pretty close to a completed product, and check in one more time to make sure everything is clear. Usually I'll finish it up after that point.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use Cubase as my DAW, and Kontakt and Reaktor as my VST hosts. I have Kontakt Komplete Ultimate 11 as a basis for my suite which covers almost anything I need to get into. For live vocals and instruments, I have four large and small diaphragm Rode mics that are great quality and can handle almost anything.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: In contemporary pop music, I'm always a fan of Zedd and his collaborations. I'm a huge fan of Brazilian music, so Djavan is one of my songwriting heroes, and you can't really find a better interpreter of that style than Rosa Passos. I'm a jazz and latin pianist at heart, so I love Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Art Tatum, and of course many more.