Pianist and composer Aaron Diehl mystifies listeners with his layered artistry. At once temporal and ethereal, his expression transforms the piano into an orchestral vessel in the spirit of beloved predecessors Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner and Jelly Roll Morton. Following three critically-acclaimed leader albums on Mack Avenue Records — and live appearances at historic venues from Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Village Vanguard to New York Philharmonic and the Philharmonie de Paris — the American Pianist Association’s 2011 Cole Porter fellow now focuses his attention on what it means to be present within himself. His forthcoming solo record promises an expansion of that exploration in a setting at once unbound and intimate. "Diehl has developed an organic, sophisticated approach" says DownBeat.
During his kaleidoscopic quarter-century as a professional jazz musician, pianist Orrin Evans has become the model of a fiercely independent artist who pushes the envelope in all directions. Never supported by a major label, Evans has ascended to top-of-the-pyramid stature on his instrument, as affirmed by his #1-ranking as “Rising Star Pianist” in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll. Grammy nominations for the Smoke Sessions albums The Intangible Between and Presence, by Evans’ raucous, risk-friendly Captain Black Big Band, stamp his bona fides as a bandleader and composer. In addition to CBBB, Evans’ multifarious leader and collaborative projects include the Eubanks Evans Experience (a duo with eminent guitarist Kevin Eubanks); the Brazilian unit Terreno Comum; Evans’ working trio with bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr.; and Tar Baby (a collective trio of 20 years standing with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Nasheet Waits). One of Tar Baby’s two 2022 releases will be released on Evans’ imprint, Imani Records, which he founded in 2001 and relaunched in 2018.