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American Pianist Association names five jazz pianists as finalists in competition

In a recent news release, Dr. Joel Harrison, president/CEO and artistic director of the American Pianists Association announces five finalists who will compete for the $50,000 prize and the title of 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianists Association.  The five finalists, in no particular order, are:
Emmet Cohen, 20, Miami

Aaron Diehl, 24, New York City

Zach Lapidus, 23, Indianapolis

Jeremy Siskind, 23, New York City

Glenn Zaleski, 22, New York City

First Alternate: Christopher Ziemba
Alternates: Stuart MindemanRichard Sears

The preliminary round was held May 7-9, 2010, in Indianapolis by a group of five nationally-distinguished professionals, including: Frank Kimbrough, jazz pianist and teacher at the Juilliard School; jazz pianist Darrell Grant from Portland, OR; Dana Landry, head of the jazz studies program at Northern Colorado University in Greeley; John Salmon, jazz and classical pianist and 1983 Fellow of the American Pianists Association; and Brent Wallarab, founder and artistic director of the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra.

According to Harrison, the jury heard, in anonymous fashion, the CDs submitted by 40 pianists nominated earlier this year for the awards.  Harrison said in a news release, “I am especially pleased that this year we had pianists nominated from virtually every region of the country.  The jury, of course, is not aware of any of that during deliberations, but I am glad we are reaching a wide geographic constituency.” 

The REI Real Estate Services Jazz Premiere Series, featuring each of the five finalists in a fully produced set at Indianapolis’ Jazz Kitchen, over a period of five months, begins in September 2010. Jazz Discovery Week (finals) will be April 10-17, 2011, and will feature the five finalists in a variety of settings around Indianapolis, including the Indiana State Museum, the Jazz Kitchen and the Athenaeum.  The Cole Porter Fellowship, with its cash prize of $50,000 to the winner of the competition, is the largest prize in the world for a young jazz pianist.

The mission of the American Pianists Association is to advance the careers of American jazz and classical pianists between the ages of 18-30. The organization was founded in 1979 in New York City and has been in Indianapolis since 1982.