INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2011) – The Proliance Energy Jazz Fellowship Awards of the American Pianists Association concluded on Saturday April 16, at The Athenaeum in Indianapolis, Indiana. The evening featured performances by the five Finalists with Grammy Award winning Jazz singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra. The five Finalists were Emmet Cohen (Miami, age 20), Zach Lapidus (Indianapolis, age 24), Glenn Zaleski (New York City, age 23), Aaron Diehl (New York City, age 25), and Jeremy Siskind (New York City, age 24). The five Finalists competed for the largest jazz prize in the world, $50,000, and the title of 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianists Association.
Aaron Diehl was named the winner of the 2011 Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz of the American Pianists Association. Aaron will receive a two-year fellowship worth $100,000, including a $50,000 cash award and a two years of in-kind career assistance, publicity, professional fees and other opportunities worldwide – the largest award for a young jazz pianist in the world.
The Jazz Fellowship Awards are produced every four years by the American Pianists Association to select the Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz. The competition takes place in three parts including the Preliminary Round, Jazz Premiere Series and Jazz Discovery Week.
A distinguished panel of musicians adjudicates in an anonymous fashion the preliminary round and chooses five Finalists from the recordings submitted by the nominees.
The five Finalists are invited to Indianapolis for outreach concerts, a high school residency and fully- produced adjudicated public performance at The Jazz Kitchen, featuring the pianist in solo and trio formats.
All five Finalists arrive in Indianapolis for a week of adjudicated events. Performances include the Semi- Final round of the competition involving solo and trio performance and the Finals, which feature the Finalists performing with a singer as well as specially – commissioned arrangements of jazz standards for piano and jazz orchestra.
The Cole Porter Fellow received a two-year fellowship worth $100,000, including a $50,000 cash award and a two-year Fellowship to include in-kind career assistance, publicity, professional fees and other opportunities worldwide – the largest award for a young jazz pianist in the world.
Jury for the Finals included some of the most distinguished members of the jazz community worldwide, including the pianists Danilo Perez, Geri Allen and John Taylor, jazz critic for The New York Times Nate Chinen, and VP for artists and repertoire at Mack Avenue Records, Al Pryor. Honorary Chair was Dave Brubeck.
Aaron Diehl is the 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianists Association. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “The most promising discovery that [Wynton] Marsalis has made since Eric Reed,” Aaron Diehl’s distinctive interpretations of the music of Scott Joplin, “Jelly Roll” Morton, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, and other masters pay homage to the tradition while establishing his own original voice.
Mr. Diehl has performed with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Wessell Anderson, Benny Golson, Loren Schoenberg, and has been featured on Marian McPartland’s NPR radio show “Piano Jazz.” His international touring includes major European jazz festivals as well as performances in South America and Asia. “Mozart Jazz,” his first CD as a leader, was released in 2006 on the Pony Canyon label (Japan). Recent performances include the Caramoor Festival and the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Diehl is a 2007 graduate of the Juilliard School where his teachers included Kenny Barron, Eric Reed, and Oxana Yablonskaya. His honors include Lincoln Center’s prestigious Martin E. Segal award in 2004, winner of the 2003 Jazz Arts Group Hank Marr Jazz Competition, and Outstanding Soloist at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2002 Essentially Ellington Competition. Immediately following graduation from high school he toured with the Wynton Marsalis Septet.
Mr. Diehl currently resides in Manhattan where he serves as music director of St. Joseph of the Holy Family Church in Harlem.
About the American Pianists Association
The American Pianists Association receives support from the City of Indianapolis through the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, the Indiana General Assembly through the Indiana Arts Commission and the U.S. Congress through the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.
The mission of the American Pianists Association (APA) is to discover, promote and advance the careers of young, American, world-class, jazz and classical pianists. Founded in New York City in 1979, executive offices have been in Indianapolis since 1982.