TERRY LEE RYAN

 

Pianist, entertainer and New Orleans native Terry Lee Ryan has always loved music. Ryan’s childhood was filled with the tunes of musical legends like Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Louie Armstrong – songs that are still the ones he loves to play.

 

Terry Lee Ryan began plunking out piano note by ear at the early age of nine, trying to put together complex harmonies and rhythms.  When he was old enough he started working odd jobs in order to buy his own piano, a used Spinet piano, which while nothing grand, was enough to get him going.

 

By the age of 13 he was starting to play gigs with his father and by the time he was in his late teens he was playing in several groups, pounding out everything from blues to rock and roll. Because he never received any formal lessons, Terry Lee never learned to read music. Even now, as he sits in the piano bar at Pistone’s all he has in front of him is a notebook filled with song lyrics. Everything else comes from his head and out through his fingers. At this point he’s not even sure how he does it, it just comes naturally.

 

By the age of 13 he was starting to play gigs with his father and by the time he was in his late teens he was playing in several groups, pounding out everything from blues to rock and roll. Because he never received any formal lessons, Terry Lee never learned to read music. Even now, as he sits in the piano bar at Pistone’s all he has in front of him is a notebook filled with song lyrics. Everything else comes from his head and out through his fingers. At this point he’s not even sure how he does it, it just comes naturally.

 

During Mardi Gras one year, he was asked to perform with popular singer and pianist Harry Connick Sr. & Jr. When he showed up at the event, Harry Connick Sr., the dad, was there handing out folders of sheet music for the performance. He asked Terry Lee whether he could read it, and not wanting to disappoint, Terry Lee said it would be no problem. He sat down at the piano and spread out the music in front of him, he knew the names of many of the songs, and had no problem following along on those. For pieces he didn’t know, he would listen to the other musicians and follow when they switched chords and turned pages. By the time he had been playing for 20 years, Ryan established himself with a solid career in New Orleans. He was playing at some of the city’s most legendary venues, including places like The Cat’s Meow and the piano bar at O’Brien’s.

 

Ryan currently resides in Northern Virginia, where he performs regularly at local venues to include the Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge on a reular basis. Click here to read Ryan’s complete bio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8421 Arlington Boulevard

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(703) 560-2188

 

 

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