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The Future of Jazz Piano: Micah Thomas

Micah and Immanuel Dizzy's.jpg

Micah Thomas is scary good on piano. – Aaron Park, JazzTimes

About Micah Thomas

Pianist and composer Micah Thomas grew up in Columbus Ohio. Since his sophomore year of high school in Columbus, Ohio, Thomas has been gigging regularly with violinist Christian Howes, accompanying him on tours across the country—Thomas has been a regular faculty member at Howes’ annual Creative Strings Workshop since 2015. Thomas frequently appears with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra as a guest artist, performing with John Clayton and Joshua Redman for their 45th anniversary concert series in 2017, and has performed throughout Ohio with distinguished musicians including JD Allen, Billy Contreras, Eddie Bayard, George Delancey, Cedric Easton, and Bobby Floyd.

In 2015, Thomas moved from Ohio to New York to pursue a BM in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School and is now performing in venues throughout the city both as a leader of his own groups and as a sideman for such luminaries as Lage Lund, Etienne Charles, Immanuel Wilkins, Joel Ross, Gabe Schnider, Tivon Pennicott, Harish Raghavan, Stacy Dillard, and Joshua Redman. He appeared as a guest with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 2017 alongside Sullivan Fortner, Aaron Diehl, and Joel Wenhardt and performed solo piano at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival.

About The Future of Jazz Piano

St. Stephen’s inaugural season explores the vanguard of jazz piano. Fred Hersch, who opens the 2018-19 season on September 28 with a benefit performance and book signing, has also curated a series of solo performances that will continue through the spring. Drawing from four decades of experience as a musician and teacher, Hersch has selected three New York-based artists that together represent the future of jazz piano.

Curator's Statement, Fred Hersch: From my more than 35 years teaching jazz piano at many elite conservatories to my more than 40 years living in New York City and keeping and ear to the ground, I have been aware of—and in many cases, mentored—some of the bright young lights of the jazz piano scene. My series this year shines some light on three particularly strong pianists. Playing solo is a true test of pianistic resources, imagination, and awareness of all of the many historical styles of jazz piano. And these young artists are more than up to the task....Micah Thomas is the youngest [artist in the series], still a student at The Juilliard School. I am already tagging him as one who has a unique style as well as all the tools needed to make a major contribution to the world of jazz piano."

Earlier Event: February 7
The Future of Jazz Piano: Sullivan Fortner