OAK MAGAZINE

6th Annual American Jazz Pianist Competition

Plant Riverside District – which is widely known as Savannah’s Entertainment District – is delighted to host the

Annual American Jazz Pianist Competition, providing a platform for excellence for talented young jazz musicians on Monday, May 9 at District Live, an exciting new state-of-the-art live music venue at Plant Riverside District.

Attendees are invited to enjoy outstanding performances by tomorrow’s leading jazz pianists. Solo competition performances will begin at 2 p.m. and will be followed by trio competition performances at 5 p.m. The American Jazz Pianist Competition Awards Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The 2022 American Jazz Pianist Competition will feature live performances on one of The Kessler Collection’s Bösendorfer pianos by pianists ranging in age from 18 to 25. Dozens of contestants from across the United States and Canada will travel to Savannah, Ga., to perform in solo and trio formats with live accompaniment by Dennis Marks on bass and Danny Gottlieb on drums. Contestants will be vying for prestigious cash prizes and career-launching opportunities.

“As Savannah’s Entertainment District, we’re incredibly honored to host the prestigious American Jazz Pianist Competition and to showcase these talented musicians on our District Live stage,” said Richard C. Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection. “We invite everyone to join us on May 9 for inspiring live jazz performances that celebrate the timeless power of music.”

A panel of three esteemed judges will evaluate the contestants and award prizes to the most promising musicians. The Grand Bohemian Prize, sponsored by The Kessler Collection, is valued at more than $8,000. Additional awards include the $5,500 Bösendorfer Prize and the $5,000 Yamaha Prize.

The panel of judges includes acclaimed pianist Bill Mays, Steinway artist and Grammy-Award nominee Elio Villafranca and 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition winner Addison Frei.

Bill Mays is a professional musician and prolific composer and arranger whose career spans the last 60 years. Mays has worked with jazz legends including Frank Sinatra, Benny Golson, Sarah Vaughan and Phil Woods. His keyboard work has been heard on hundreds of film soundtracks, including Fargo, Fur, Godfather: Part II, Hail, Caesar!, Jaws 2, Julie & Julia, Rocky II, Superman, The Big Lebowski and The Good Liar.

Elio Villafranca is a Steinway artist and Grammy nominee who earned the Jazz at Lincoln Center Millennium Swing Award in 2014. Throughout his career, Villafranca has garnered acclaim as the man behind one of NYC Jazz Record’s Best Concerts in 2016, a performer at the first Chick Corea Jazz Festival, Pianist of the Year nominee, BMI Jazz Guaranty Award honoree and the recipient of the first NFA/Heineken Green Ribbon Master Artist Music Grant.

Addison Frei is an award-winning pianist and favorite accompanist for vocalists, including Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, Janis Siegel and the late Carol Fredette. Known for his warm musical spirit and melodic sensibility, Frei won first prize in the 2017 Parmigiani Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition, the 2016 UNISA International Jazz Piano Competition and the 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition.

The 6th Annual American Jazz Pianist Competition is made possible by The Kessler Collection, Bösendorfer Pianos and Yamaha Pianos. For more information, please visit americanjazzpianistcompetition.org.

ABOUT PLANT RIVERSIDE DISTRICT:

Plant Riverside District, located at 400 W. River Street, is a vibrant entertainment destination and Savannah’s Entertainment District. From incredible dining and high-end shopping to live music and spectacular performances, Plant Riverside District creates elegantly curated experiences, stripping away the unnecessary to reveal the exceptional. Once an iconic power plant in Georgia, Plant Riverside District now represents the beauty of progress. Whether seeking a romantic getaway or a work hard/play hard business trip, Plant Riverside District provides a setting suited to your needs, blending timeless sophistication with eye-catching details. Experience three unique buildings for a customized atmosphere to match your style: bold, contemporary maritime details in the Atlantic; romantic, elegant styling in the Three Muses; and chic historic architecture in the Power Plant. Complete your experience with numerous dining options, rooftop bars, a concert venue, art gallery, riverfront park and even natural science exhibits to spark your imagination. For more information, please visit www.plantriverside.com and follow @plantriversidedistrict on Facebook and Instagram.

ABOUT DISTRICT LIVE:

District Live, an exciting new live music venue at Plant Riverside District in Savannah, Ga., marks a landmark partnership between The Kessler Collection and Live Nation, featuring national and regional artists live in concert at a state-of-the-art venue located in the new Atlantic Building at JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. Powered by Live Nation, District Live brings world-class artists to Savannah’s Entertainment District. In addition to concerts, District Live also features That Great Gretsch Sound!, presented through a special partnership between the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University and The Kessler Collection. This permanent display of music memorabilia, highlighting 135 years of Gretsch instruments, is featured in District Live’s lobby and performance space. For more information, please visit www.plantriverside.comand follow @districtlivesavannah on Instagram.

ABOUT THE KESSLER COLLECTION:

The Kessler Collection's portfolio of passionately created and artistically inspired boutique hotels boasts chic design, luxurious accommodations, enriching ambiance and intuitive service. Whether visiting properties in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina or South Carolina, each hotel's exquisite art, music and cultural influences are deliberately approachable. Designed to inspire mystique and to encourage unforgettable experiences, Kessler guests are immersed in redefined Bohemian luxury, from an 1888 historic hotel and a cutting-edge downtown icon to a premier luxury lodge, high-design Southern mansion and elite ski lodge. The Kessler Collection was the founding member of the Marriott Autograph Collection, introduced with seven Autograph Collection branded hotels. Each property is a bold, original hotel carefully created with style and the individualist traveler in mind. For more information about The Kessler Collection, please visit www.kesslercollection.com or call 888.472.6312.

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