At just 29 years old, Aaron Diehl – a “smart young pianist with a fastidious grasp of jazz traditions,” according to the New York Times – has set the music world ablaze with three critically acclaimed records in just five years.
Hot off the heels of his most recent release, The Bespoke Man’s Narrative (2013), Diehl and his trio are set to take the stage on Wednesday, April 16, for an intimate performance that will appeal to lifelong jazz enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Part of the emerging Live at RWU series at Roger Williams University – which hosted jazz legend Freddy Cole and virtuoso saxophonist Harry Allen last November – the free, open-to-the-public concert is offered in association with the Newport Jazz Festival.
“Aaron Diehl is an emerging jazz superstar whose trajectory continues to rise,” says Robert M. Eisinger, dean of the University’s Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences. “Jazz enthusiasts will recognize his depth, range and keen, unbounded appreciation of musical tradition. The Trio embraces the past as they imaginatively forge the future of jazz. With this concert – in association with the Newport Jazz Festival – RWU emerges as a leading venue for jazz artists in Rhode Island and the neighboring communities.”
As pianist for the award-winning vocalist, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Diehl will perform at the Newport Jazz Festival on Friday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 2.
Diehl seeks to stand out as an artist who exemplifies quality authenticity and fluency in the American musical vernacular. Raised in a rich musical tradition, the Columbus, Ohio, native – whose grandfather, pianist and trombonist Arthur Baskerville, was his primary influence – began studying classical piano at age 7, only to discover his passion for jazz when he met piano prodigy Eldar Djangirov.
A 2007 graduate of the Juilliard School, Diehl was named Outstanding Soloist at the Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington competition at just 17 years old. A year later, he was touring with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and went on to be named the American Pianists Association’s Cole Porter Fellow (2011) and the Jazz Journalist Association’s Up-and-Coming Musician of the Year (2013).
The Wednesday, April 16, concert at Roger Williams takes place at 7:30 p.m. in Global Heritage Hall on the University’s Bristol campus at One Old Ferry Road. The event is free and open to the public – no tickets or reservations are required, but seating is limited and guests should arrive early. Any questions can be directed to (401) 254-3154.
This event is sponsored by the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences, WQRI Radio, Student Programs and Leadership, and the Inter-Residence Hall Association.