By PAM HARBAUGH
This is some major stuff, so heads up all you young jazz pianists who are 18 to 25 years of age.
The third annual AMERICAN JAZZ PIANIST COMPETITION will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at the Atlantic Music Center in Melbourne. It has nearly $20,000 in awards.
The grand prize is an astounding $10,000 Grand Bohemian Award. Second prize is an equally jaw-dropping $5,000 Bosendorfer Award. Five remaining finalists each receive $500 and a Yamaha Digital Piano; plus they have the opportunity to win an additional $1,000 Yamaha Award.
Oh my. But there’s more: The seven finalists will have the chance to work as a trio with some great established jazz musicians — Danny Gottlieb and Jamie Ousley.
The event is presented by the Atlantic Music Center. Other sponsors stepping up big time include the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando, Courtyard Marriott, Bosendorfer and Yamaha.
Finalists will be chosen from a competition beginning 2:30 p.m. Feb. 4. The event runs into the evening. Competitors need to apply online by Jan. 15, 2017. Cost to apply is $65. Read about qualifications, the schedule and more by visiting AmericanJazzPianistCompetition.org.
This is a big deal, with competitors expected to come from around the country. The competition celebration begins Friday, Feb. 3 with a Bill Mays masterclass beginning at 4:15 p.m.; that will be followed by Bill Mays Concert at 7:30 p.m. The cost of the masterclass is $15, which also allows you entrance into the concert that evening. Concert tickets for non-masterclass participants are $15 adults & $10 students.
Entry to the solo finals portion of the competition is free to the general public and begins at 4:30pm. The trio finals begin at 7:00pm. Tickets for this portion, judging and winner announcement are $15 adults & $10 students. The Atlantic Music Center is at 25 S. Wickham Rd., Melbourne. To purchase tickets, call 321-768-2221 or click here.