Press release from the Asheville Symphony:
Aaron Diehl is a 32-year-old classically trained composer and pianist who has already made an indelible mark on the jazz world. On November 17, he will perform two works alongside the ASO, Ellington’s New World A-Comin’ and Gershwin’s Variations on “I Got Rhythm.” But there’s more than meets the eye with Aaron Diehl — read on to learn more about this rising star.
- Diehl has collaborated with living masters ranging from NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson to 20th-century classical titan Philip Glass.
- He’s established himself as one of the preeminent interpreters of the Great American Songbook in his own trio and with the vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant.
- Born in Columbus, Ohio, to a funeral director and a former Olympian turned education administrator, Diehl grew up in a nurturing musical environment. His grandfather, Arthur Baskerville, a pianist and trombonist, was an early influence.
- At age 17, Diehl was a finalist in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition, where he was noticed by Wynton Marsalis. Soon after, Diehl was invited to tour Europe with the Wynton Marsalis Septet (Marsalis has famously referred to him as “The Real Diehl.”)
- When he isn’t on tour or recording, Diehl enjoys spending time in the sky. A licensed pilot, one of his favorite planes to fly is the Beechcraft Bonanza. Follow Diehl’s travels, as well as fascinating practice sessions at the piano and much diverse concert-going via his Instagram account at www.instagram.com/aaronjdiehl.
Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m. at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Darko Butorac, conductor; Aaron Diehl, piano
Ellington New World A-Comin’
Gershwin Variations on “I Got Rhythm”
Gershwin An American in Paris