The Nu Jazz Agency, a leader in the non-profit musical arts industry, has announced the inaugural performance in the 2019 season of the winners of the 2018 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition held this past June in Huntington, West Virginia. Ben Paterson
(Philadelphia, PA: First Place); RINA
(Saitama, Japan: Second Place & The Nu Jazz Agency’s Chico & Lupe O’Farrill Award for the Best Original Composition; and Isaiah J. Thompson
(West Orange, NJ: Third Place & winner for Best Rendition of an Ellis Marsalis Song will be performing at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City
on January 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm (EST).
About The Ellis Marsalis
International Jazz Piano Competition & Finalists The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, named after NEA Jazz Master, legendary educator and patriarch of “America’s First Family of Jazz” was held in the City of Huntington, West Virginia (U.S.A.) in partnership with a state university and the Nu Jazz Agency. The 2-day competition challenged competitors’ skills and abilities across different genres, styles, and formats of the jazz idiom. Seven finalists were chosen from among over 160 entries and 45 qualifying submissions from 29 different countries to vie for over $200,000 in cash and prizes.
NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis, six (6) time Grammy and Latin Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill
, Jon Batiste
, and special guest judge NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis
watched the contestants compete with the help of two side personnel teams.
After two days, four segments, over eight hours, and nine different songs in the competition the winners for the five awards were named. Ben Paterson (Philadelphia, PA ) won First Place Winner; Rina Yamazaki (Saitama, Japan) and won Second Place and was the recipient of the Nu Jazz Agency’s Chico & Lupe O’Farrill Award for Best Original Composition; and Isaiah Thompson (West Orange, NJ) won Third Place as well as the award for Best Rendition of an Ellis Marsalis Song.
The three winners will be performing with an all-star set of sidemen which includes Luques Curtis
(Acoustic Bass) and Darrion Douglas
(Drums) in two magical sets featuring the music of Ellis Marsalis, the New Orleans Jazz Masters, Jazz Standards and original compositions. “The 2018 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition was a ‘first-of-its-kind’ event which will be a hallmark in competitive formats for years to come.” says Jerald Miller, Executive Director andFounder of the competition and Managing Director of the Nu Jazz Agency. “But the real treasure is in the talent it discovered and the opportunities for that talent to grow and shine in an overcrowded marketplace. By providing this inaugural performance as part of the awards prize package we andeavoring to ensure that jazz lovers everywhere can experience this exceptional group of musicians whereever they may be.”
In February 2019 the first of two albums will be released from the 2018 competition,The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition presents: The 2018 Competitors, will present select highlights from all seven competitors in the four competitive segments which occurred in the two-day competition. Late in 2019 a second albumThe Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition presents:
The 2018 Winners, L to R: Isaiah Thompson, Rina Yamazaki and Ben Paterson
This album includes a selection of entirely different songs culled from the competition archives and includes many of the songs which catapulted the winners to victory.
For more information on the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, or the winners, visit: jazzpianocompetition.org
or call (212) 920-1494 ext. 3. For press or media inquiries contact Nu Jazz Agency Publicity Department at (212) 920-5368 ext. 700.