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2015 American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship Awards

MOJA’s Russ Davis reports from piano competition in Indianapolis

Joel Harrison, American Pianists Association, (left) with 2015 Cole Porter Fellow Sullivan Fortner (right)
Russ Davis with the judges and hosts at the American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship competition L to R: Amina Figarova, Bill Charlap, Russ Davis, Billy Childs, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride and Ed Simon
Dianne Reeves and Christian McBride, hosts at the 2015 American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship competition
Russ Davis with Dianne Reeves at the 2015 American Pianists Association competition in Indianapolis
Dianne Reeves with Sullivan Fortner, winner of the 2015 American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship competition
Joel Harrison announces Sullivan Fortner as the winner of the 2015 American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship competition

On Saturday night, March 28, inside the beautiful Hilbert Circle Theatre in the center of downtown Indianapolis, Sullivan Fortner was named the winner of the Cole Porter Fellowship for 2015 by the American Pianists Association. The prize is valued at $100,000, including $50,000 in cash, two years of artistic support and the offer of a recording contract with Mack Avenue Records.

The announcement came after a year of live performances as well as civic and educational activities that placed five pianists between the ages of 18 and 30 years in competition. Finalists Kris Bowers, Emmet Cohen, Zach Lapidus, Christian Sands and Fortner demonstrated over the three-plus days of finals and activities that they are all deserving of admiration, acclaim and future success, making the decision of the five judges nearly impossible.

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