Navajo pianist and composer Connor Chee (b. 1987) is known for combining his classical piano training with his Native American heritage. Chee made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 12 after winning a gold medal in the World Piano Competition. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, Chee’s solo piano music is inspired by traditional Navajo chants and songs.
Chee has released 4 studio albums of original pieces and piano transcriptions of Navajo music. The Navajo Piano won Best Instrumental Recording at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards, and his piece “Beginnings” won Best New Age Song.
Chee’s 2020 release, Scenes from Dinétah, features piano pieces written about elements of Navajo life and culture. It was accompanied by the release of several music videos filmed on the reservation, directed by Navajo filmmaker Michael Etcitty Jr.
Chee's most recent release, The Navajo Piano (Revisited), features new recordings of his original 15 compositions from 2014, as well as recordings of the traditional songs they were based on. Also included are 3 new transcriptions for harp featuring Angelica Hairston and Johanna Wienholts.
Connor Chee with Native American Music Award for Best Instrumental Music Video
Connor Chee at Northern Illinois University
Connor Chee at Tarleton State University
Connor Chee at the National Gallery of Art
Connor Chee at Carnegie Hall