Pianist Aaron Diehl is one of the most sought after jazz virtuosos, consistently playing with what The New York Times describes as “melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint.” His meticulously thought-out performances, collaborations and compositions are for spearheading a distinct union of traditional and fresh jazz artistry.
Mr. Diehl began studying classical piano at age 7 and discovered his passion for jazz music when attending Interlochen Summer Camp in Michigan. There, he met piano prodigy Eldar Djangirov, who made a lasting impression on Diehl by sharing his enthusiasm for Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. In 2002, Diehl was a finalist in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition, where he was awarded “Outstanding Soloist.” The following year, right out of high school, he was invited to tour with the Wynton Marsalis Septet on their European tour.
In an interview, when asked about his experience of touring with Wynton Marsalis, Mr. Diehl said “I got a call from Wynton out of the blue, literally, when I was practicing in the living room at home. He asked me to come and play with him in Europe. Initially, I told him “No.” [Jazz saxophonist] Wess Anderson’s wife called me and said, “Are you crazy? Why would you say ‘no’ to Wynton Marsalis?'” … Playing with Wynton’s septet enlightened me to how difficult and how much work it is to be an exemplary jazz musician. … Wynton was as hard on me as he was with everybody else in his band. He required the best from his musicians. You can imagine what that was like for a seventeen-year-old from Ohio.”
Joining Mr. Diehl for this Civic Music concert will be vibraphonist Warren Wolf, who like Mr. Diehl is a classically trained jazz virtuoso. Mr. Wolf hails from Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of Peabody Preparatory, Baltimore School for the Arts and Berklee College of Music, where soon after graduation he was asked to join the faculty as percussion instructor.
Mr. Wolf is now a full-time touring musician, having released several recordings as a leader, including Incredible Jazz Vibes and Black Wolf.