American Pianists Association Announces Five Finalists

American Pianists Association Announces Five Finalists
for the American Pianists Awards – Each Guaranteed $20,000
Finalists for the 2019 Awards –
to Participate in Unique 13-month Competition Process
Awards Sneak Preview Concert Scheduled for
May 17, 2018 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
(Jazz at Lincoln Center) in New York City
Joel HarrisonPresident/CEOand Artistic Director of the American Pianists Associationannounces the five pianists who are finalists for the 2019 American Pianists AwardsKenny Banks, Jr.Emmet CohenKeelan DimickDave Meder, and Billy Test will compete for the prestigious Cole Porter Fellowship, given every four years to an American jazz pianist at the conclusion of the organization’s unique 13-month competition process.
By virtue of their selection, each of the five finalists has already won a cash prize of $20,000, exceptional performance opportunities and the publicity gained from advancing in the world’s largest jazz competition. Further, the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards will receive a prize valued over $100,000 including cash, two years of career assistance, a winner’s media and performance tour, a recording contract with Mack Avenue Records and other opportunities worldwide. The Premiere Series provides the first live-juried performances of the five American Pianists Awards finalists. From September 2018 to February 2019, each finalist will be invited to Indianapolis for outreach and community events as well as an adjudicated solo and trio set at The Jazz Kitchen. All five finalists return to Indianapolis for the Club Finals at The Jazz Kitchen on April 5, 2019and the Gala Finals at Hilbert Circle Theatre on April 6, 2019. Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater will host the Gala Finals and each finalist will perform with the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling. The Finals will be streamed live at and on the American Pianists Association’s Facebook page.
In partnership with NPR-affiliated jazz radio station WBGODizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and Jazz at Lincoln Center will host the American Pianists Awards Sneak Preview on Thursday, May 17with sets at 7:00pm and 9:30pm. The evening will feature performances from each of the five finalists in their first gathering as a group. Tickets are available at Jazz at Lincoln Center: This performance will also be streamed jointly by Jazz at Lincoln Center and American Pianists Association.”There are many prestigious piano competitions throughout the world, but ours is unique,” says APA’s President/CEO and Artistic Director Joel Harrison. “Because we have a multi-step process that occurs over a 13-month period, we get to see and hear each finalist both in a club setting and out in the community. They gain an unparalleled opportunity to grow professionally, and we gain a unique chance to watch each evolve as artists and to gain enhanced artistic stature, at an important time in their professional development. It’s perhaps the most rewarding part of our work to see these already accomplished artists take their talent to the next level, and to bring that talent to not only Indianapolis, but to the world. And it is through this process that all of the finalists — not just the winner — can grow.”
About the American Pianists Awards
The American Pianists Awards are held every two years to discover the best aspiring young American jazz or classical pianists. The unique and innovative competitions span 13 months and provide a platform to deeply engage musical artists in a variety of creative formats and settings. Winners receive cash and two years of career advancement and support valued at over $100,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists.
About the American Pianists Association
The American Pianists Association has been supporting aspiring young artists for over 30 years. The American Pianists Awards, held for both classical and jazz artists, offer significant opportunities for American pianists, ages 18-30, to advance their careers. Each winner receives a two-year fellowship, valued at over $100,000 including cash awards, fees, publicity and recording opportunities. All American Pianists Awards events are produced as public recitals and feature the finalists in a variety of settings. The organization greatly values the individual artistic sensibilities of each pianist, nurtures such individuality and does not impose any repertoire requirements during the competitions other than those necessary for the different genres. It is the intent of the American Pianists Awards to focus on artistic expression and not on competitive prowess. Further, the organization makes an effort to tailor its career assistance to suit the particular needs of the winner, offering an array of opportunities appropriate to the winner’s current career development and status. American Pianists Association strives to be the bridge between professional training and a full-fledged professional career.