Dave Limina

Pianist and Hammond organist Dave Limina has performed and recorded for over 16 years, traveling worldwide with four-time Blues Music Award winners Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. He has also appeared with Brook Benton, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Martha Reeves, and Grammy winner Lori McKenna, among many others. Limina has toured or recorded with McKenna, Michelle Willson, the Redtenbacher's Funkestra featuring funk legends Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis, Lenny Pickett, Mighty Sam McClain, and many more. 

Limina has received Boston Music Award nominations for his work with McClain, the Courage Brothers, and Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, and won the Boston Music Award for Best Blues Album in 2001 for Willson's Wake Up Call. He was the keyboardist/conductor for the first national touring company of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Broadway musical Rent. He does extensive studio session work and is heard on numerous commercially released recordings including Bittertown, McKenna’s breakout record on Warner Brothers.

The credited, featured pianist on the movie All I Wish, featuring Sharon Stone, Limina is also the internationally published author of Hammond Organ Complete, Instant Keyboard, and the DVD Accelerate Your Keyboard Playing, all from Berklee Press/Hal Leonard Publishing. 

  • Career Highlights
    • Private piano instructor, Hammond organ instructor
    • Experienced session keyboardist and composer/arranger
    • Performances with B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Courage Brothers, Ronnie Earl, Steve Forbert, B.B. King, Duke Levine, Mighty Sam McClain, Tracy Nelson, Carl Perkins, Martha Reeves, Duke Robillard, Todd Thibaud, Barrence Whitfield, Michelle Willson, and the national touring company of the musical Rent
    • Arrangements for Michelle Willson and Mighty Sam McClain
  • Awards
    • Recipient of Boston Music Award nominations for work with Courage Brothers, Mighty Sam McClain, and Michelle Willson
    • Most Valuable Contribution to the Performance Curriculum Award, Berklee College of Music (2001)
  • Education
    • Berklee College of Music, professional music

In Their Own Words

"I do pretty much the Hammond organ classes. Piano players have to get used to some things when they try the organ: playing left-hand bass, playing foot-pedal bass, dealing with the organ as a non-touch-sensitive instrument. They also have to deal with the fact that they have to play a lot of finger legato because there's no damper pedal, there's no sustain. The only means of controlling the dynamics is with an expression pedal. Those are some of the biggest adjustments you have to make."

"I like to stress practical skills like playing the right thing for the right situation, and I also teach different styles because being able to cover a wide range of styles will make you marketable as a player. I stress playing with good time, good phrasing, and not overplaying. One of the biggest lessons I give them from my own real-life experience is that a gig usually isn't about highlighting yourself; it's more about functioning in an ensemble and playing your part. They have to learn how to play in a band, and Berklee's a great place to do that."

"Some students think that if they just go to all their classes and do what they're supposed to do for them, that's going to get them to the next level. And I try to tell them that it takes way, way, way more than that. Some of them think that if they put in their two or three hours a week, then they should be improving, but they don't know that that's not going to get them there. Sometimes they wonder why they're not getting to the next level, and I ask them what their practicing situation is like, and that's usually where the problem is. I try to tell them that you have live and breathe this stuff."