The grand kickoff of the 2019 American Pianists Awards comes to Indiana Landmarks on Sept. 23, featuring the five finalists in contention for the $100,000 prize.
The young pianists Kenny Banks Jr., Billy Test, Keelen Dimick, Dave Meder, and Emmett Cohen will meet again at Indiana Landmarks, after selling out two consecutive shows at the legendary jazz venue Dizzy’s in New York City.
As a special treat, 2015 winner Sullivan Fortner will perform with blues vocalist Tad Robinson.
NUVO’s Rita Kohn wrote about Fortner in November, 2014, when he appeared at The Jazz Kitchen for the American Pianists Associations Jazz Fellowship Award Premiere Series.
“Fortner conjures up a soft whiff of Thelonious Monk while being unabashedly himself – toying with and teasing the audience,” wrote Kohn. "Sullivan's is the recognizable Monk improvisational style with dissonances, melodic twists, silences, hesitations and full stops at the piano to move into a snatch of dancing while the bassist and drummer keep playing, but it's a softer approach."
WFYI’s Matthew Socey and Christina Hicks will be hosting.
In the months to come, each of these finalists will return for a week of concerts and master classes.
After the concert, Kenny Banks Jr. will remain in town to begin his Premiere Series Week. He will be at Warren Central High School from Sept. 24-26, and he will perform for free at Eskenazi Hospital on Sept. 27. He will perform two juried sets at the Jazz Kitchen on Sept. 29.