Ryan Slatko’s musical journey began with his father who played guitar and introduced him to jazz/fusion artists like Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Weather Report; and to progressive rock greats such as Genesis, Kansas, Rush, Yes, and Emerson Lake and Palmer. Slatko took up drums at 11 years old, also taking an interest in piano at 13 and eventually switching focus entirely to the latter. His background in drumming brings a strong rhythmic concept to everything he does, whether it be his often percussive approach to piano playing or his inventive arrangements and compositions.
Slatko earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Florida, studying under the critically acclaimed pianist Lynne Arriale. In Fall 2015, Ryan moved to New York to join the diverse music scene and to earn his master’s degree at New York University. Slatko has had the privilege of studying under great artists like Don Friedman, Alan Broadbent, Ari Hoenig, Gil Goldstein, Taylor Eigsti and Kenny Werner.
Slatko’s achievements include placing 3rd in the 2014 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, and making the semifinals for the American Jazz Pianist Competition two years in a row. His debut album “First Impressions” features Grammy-nominated drummer and producer, Ulysses Owens Jr. as well as Linda May Han Oh, Joel Ross, Daniel Dickinson & Samir Zarif. Slatko has also performed or recorded with Rich Perry, Alex Sipiagin, Chris Potter, Tom Scott, Adam Rogers, Randy Brecker, Ari Hoenig and many more. He was the musical director for “Lights Out,” a play with song about Nat King Cole in which he worked with the likes of Patricia MacGregor, Colman Domingo, Dulé Hill and Daniel J. Watts.
Slatko works as a sideman with a variety of bands and artists including The Little Mermen (a Disney tribute band), Milo Z, Mars Motel, Alexander Howard, Danny Lipsitz and the Brass Tacks, Dom Palombi’s Game Night, and many others! He also leads his own band, Slat & Co, which has played many shows in New York City.