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The Journey by American Pianists Association
31 minutes | Jul 29, 2019
Episode 14: On the Road
Episode 14: On the Road The life of a touring musician has its up and down, it’s joys and frustrations. In this episode, pianists Helen Sung and Aaron Diehl and bassist Christian McBride discuss: Life on the Road.
30 minutes | May 22, 2019
Episode 13: What Comes Next for Emmet Cohen
Episode 13: What Comes Next for Emmett Cohen After winning the 2019 American Pianists Awards, Emmet Cohen’s career is taking off! Listen to Emmet’s debut as winner at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and hear from Mack Avenue Records President Denny Stillwell and past Awards winners Drew Petersen and Aaron Diehl on what lies ahead for Emmet.
57 minutes | Apr 30, 2019
Episode 12: Winning Time!
The journeys of five finalists in the 2019 American Pianists Awards come together for the finals of the competition in Indianapolis. Featuring: two sets of solo and trio at a jazz club; performances with Kurt Elling and the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra in a concert hall; and four $20,000 checks and one $100,000 prize given to the winner.
23 minutes | Apr 1, 2019
Episode 11: Dee Dee Bridgewater and Kurt Elling
Episode 11: Dee Dee Bridgewater & Kurt Elling NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater and Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling talk with Lee Clifford about singing with the American Pianists Awards finalists in a short preview of the finals on April 6. Kurt will sing a jazz standard with each finalist, and Dee Dee will serve as emcee for the live audience at Hilbert Circle Theater and the livestream worldwide.
32 minutes | Mar 25, 2019
Episode 10: Collaborating – strings attached
Every American Pianists Awards competition requires the finalists to perform in collaboration with other artists, as collaborating and accompanying others are fundamental skills for any musician to develop. In this episode we explore the pairing of piano and string players through two such collaborations: on the classical side we talk with 2017 American Pianists Awards finalist Henry Kramer and violist Matthew Lipman, a much-lauded soloist. The pair recently released the world-premiere recording of the newly discovered Impromptu by Dmitri Shostakovich. From the jazz world we explore how the genre-busting, Grammy-winning string group Turtle Island Quartet collaborates with renowned jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, with whom the group is currently touring.
37 minutes | Feb 18, 2019
Episode 9: Singing with Sullivan Fortner
Episode nine of “The Journey” dives into the dynamic between singers and pianists from the perspective of 2015 American Pianists Awards winner Sullivan Fortner. We talk to Sullivan about his musical upbringing in New Orleans, explore his current approach to collaborating and hear him perform with great vocal talents including Cècile Mclorin Salvant, Dianne Reeves, Jean Baylor, José James and Paul Simon. Finally, we welcome two new contributors to the podcast: public radio reporter/host Jill Ditmire joins as co-host, and music publicist Amanda Sweet makes her debut as our field interviewer. Sullivan Fortner explains how he started working with singers: “It came out of church. My first musical experience was with singers. I remember hearing harmony and kind of listening to my mom and my mom’s brothers and sisters rehearse, and I’d tell them they’re singing the parts wrong. I’d say, “the alto lines go like this” and they’d say “boy, shut up,” and they’d listen back and say “yeah, that’s right.” So I always gravitated to singers because that’s what I first heard.”
32 minutes | Dec 26, 2018
Episode 8: American Pianists Awards past, present & future
In Episode 8 of The Journey, we learn about the history of the American Pianists Awards through an interview with Joel Harrison, CEO and Artistic Director of the American Pianists Association. During the episode we’ll hear excerpts from performances by Sean Chen, Spencer Myer, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Ellling and the five 2019 American Pianists Awards finalists. Joel Harrison has been President/CEO of the American Pianists Association since 2008 and Artistic Director since 2001. He was previously a faculty member at Davidson College in North Carolina and at Mississippi State University, where he was also director of the Mississippi Piano Showcase and a Touring Artist for the Mississippi Arts Commission. He currently oversees all artistic programs, most especially the American Pianists Awards, relationships with collaborative organizations, strategic planning, staff development and oversight, Board communications, community and external relationships, fundraising, and representing the Awards to a national and international constituency.
27 minutes | Dec 12, 2018
Episode 7: Improvising with Emmet Cohen
Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is one of his generation’s pivotal artistic figures. Downbeat praised the “nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary” he employs to communicate with other musicians and audiences at what he terms “the deepest level of humanity and individuality.” Cohen plays with the command and passion of an artist fully devoted to his medium. Leader of the “Emmet Cohen Trio,” Cohen presents jazz performance lectures through the YoungArts Foundation and Lincoln Center’s “Jazz for Young People” program. He has appeared in the Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern, and Edinburgh jazz festivals, among others, and at many famous music venues, including Rose Hall and the Kennedy Center. Cohen has also played in legendary international nightspots, such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazzhaus Montmartre, and Ronnie Scott’s. He is Hammond B-3 organist-in-residence at Harlem’s Smoke jazz club. A Suzuki piano student at age three, Cohen holds jazz piano degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) and the University of Miami (B.M.). He was previously a finalist in the American Pianists Awards in both 2011 and 2015, and he was also a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition in 2011. Cohen has performed or collaborated with Debbie Allen, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Lea DeLaria, Kurt Elling, Billy Hart, Jimmy Heath, Ali Jackson, Bill T. Jones, Brian Lynch, Christian McBride, and Herlin Riley.
16 minutes | Nov 28, 2018
Episode 6: pianist, composer and educator Dave Meder
Pianist, composer and educator Dave Meder is quickly becoming one of the prominent artists of his generation, known for a panoramic, genre-bending approach that has earned him slots in the American Pianists Awards and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. He has performed in some of New York’s most hallowed rooms, including several headlining stands at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and internationally at the Tokyo Jazz Festival, Torino Jazz Festival, and others. In 2013, Meder won the esteemed Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. His debut album, Passage (Outside In Music, 2019), is a dynamically interactive piano-trio outing boasting appearances by the generation-defining saxophonists Chris Potter and Miguel Zenón. Meder is also a skilled composer-arranger, having earned an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, the FirstMusic Commission of the New York Youth Symphony, and a slot in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. As the Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at the University of North Texas, he is currently the youngest instructor employed in one of the nation’s most renowned music programs.
30 minutes | Nov 14, 2018
Episode 5: Classical Music Journeys
Episode five of The Journey features conversations with 2017 American Pianists Awards winner Drew Petersen along with classical music luminaries 1985 Awards winner Frederic Chiu, Jerry Lowenthal, Ursula Oppens and the late Charlie Hamlen.
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