Pictured (l to r): Kenny Banks Jr., Howard Stone, Emmet Cohen
About the American Pianist Association
The American Pianists Association nurtures the artistic growth of America’s top young pianists by focusing on creative expression and career development. Their largest and most prestigious support is given through a biennial competition known as the American Pianists Awards. Since their founding in 1979, the American Pianists Association has supported 46 winners.
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.
Previous winners of the APA jazz competition include Aaron Parks, Adam Birnbaum, Dan Tepfer, Aaron Diehl, and Sullivan Fortner (a Vail Jazz Workshop Alum).
This year’s second place finisher, Kenny Banks Jr., is an alumni of the Vail Jazz Workshop and will be back to perform at this year’s Vail Jazz Party.
Emmet Cohen returns to Vail this summer leading his trio in support of Veronica Swift. Last year his sold-out debut was a crowd favorite of the summer, leading to his trio coming back for an equally inspired show over our winter series. The other members of his trio include Russell Hall, an alumni of the award-winning Vail Jazz Workshop, and Kyle Poole, whose high school band was brought to Vail from Los Angeles on the 4th of July– a tradition that we are proud to revamp this year.