Lauded as one of the top jazz pianists of his generation, Sullivan Fortner is
recognized for his virtuosic technique and captivating performances. The winner of
three prestigious awards – a Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the 2015 Cole
Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association, and the 2016 Lincoln
Center Award for Emerging Artists – Sullivan’s music embodies the essence of the
blues and jazz as he connects music of all eras and genres through his
“Sullivan Fortner, a pianist born in New Orleans, has an extravagant amount of
talent and a hyperactive flow on the keyboard. He mixes chords and crossing
patterns and two-handed unison lines, all at a rapid clip. Sometimes he’ll play with
both hands right around the center of the instrument, but you’ll swear that he’s
using every key. At other times, he really is.” The New York Times
Under the direction of the renowned music educator and saxophonist, Fred Foss and DC recording pianist, Bob Murad, The Bethesda Blues & Jazz Youth Orchestra provides an educational environment and opportunity for young musicians to experience and perform jazz music. With more than twenty-five young High School and Middle School musicians, the Orchestra and senior Ensemble present jazz standards from their wide repertory, including such greats from the Jazz and Blues canon as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Benny Golson, Etta James, Herbie Hancock and many others.
The Bethesda Blues & Jazz Youth Orchestra will perform the first set with Mr. Fortner starting at 7 pm. After a brief intermission, Mr. Fortner will perform a jazz set with The Sullivan Fortner Trio.