Solo Jazz Piano Festival, April 13 to 15, 2018

Solo Jazz Piano Festival 2018

Designed to appeal to lovers of jazz piano of all ages as well as professional and amateur musicians of all instruments

The 2nd Annual VJC Solo Jazz Piano Fest is a celebration of the "orchestra of all instruments," an instrument that was critical to the establishment of jazz as an art form, an instrument that has influenced jazz's development at every harmonic turn. If you love ragtime, boogie woogie, stride, swing, the Great American Songbook, bebop, free jazz or complex harmonic progressions, solo jazz piano provides a fascinating and authentic lens through which to listen to all of these styles.

In 2017, the VJC presented its first annual festival to honor solo jazz piano. It was inspired by the donation of a world-class quality Steinway Concert Grand piano to the Vermont Jazz Center. Gifted by the McKenzie Family Charitable Trust and fully rebuilt by technician William Ballard, this piano was initially owned by the concert pianist and virtuoso Lorin Hollander.

In 2018, the VJC will add several new dimensions to the festival. First, we will be collaborating with the Brattleboro Music Center to make use of their newly built, acoustically designed concert hall which houses their noble Hamburg Steinway Grand. The VJC will move its Steinway D to the BMC's venue so that these two 9' pianos can be nested. This will give performers the opportunity to explore two-piano pieces in addition to their solo offerings. Two of this year's artists, Kirk Lightsey and Harold Danko, recorded a jazz duo piano LP in 1983 that featured the compositions of Wayne Shorter. They will be presenting material from this album in their concert on April 13th. The second new development is the expansion of the program to include activities on Sunday that emphasize interactive educational options.

Participating Performers at the VJC's 2nd Annual Solo Jazz Piano Festival include:

Kirk Lightsey, Harold Danko, Helen Sung, Christian Sands and David Berkman

Regional Artists:
Joe Davidian, Franz W. Robert

The VJC's first annual festival in April of 2017 was headlined by Stanley Cowell, Amina Figarova, Yoko Miwa, Miro Sprague and Luis Perdomo. Here's what attendee, Steve Merriman wrote about his experience:

"The combination of masterclasses and formal performance was a truly wonderful way to organize this event. The opportunity to discover a community of kinship established through a shared love of the solo piano genre and demonstrations of that genre by a fabulous array of superlative players channeling their gifts through an extraordinary instrument make for a weekend of true piano jazz bliss."


  • Full Fest Package: $120

  • Saturday Day Time Activities Only: $80

  • Friday Feature Evening Concert: $20

  • Saturday Feature Evening Concert: $20

  • Sunday Feature Afternoon Concert: $10

The 2018 Festival willl include an enhanced educational program -



8:00 PM Feature Concert: Kirk Lightsey and Harold Danko: Solo and Duo performances


10:00 AM Harold Danko Q and A about Duo Performing

11:00 AM Joe Davidian, Performance

12:00 PM Harold Danko, Masterclass

1:00 PM Lunch break

2:00 PM Helen Sung, Masterclass

3:00 PM Headliners, Panel w/ juried questions

4:00 PM Franz W. Robert, Performance

5:00 PM Kirk Lightsey, Masterclass

6:00 PM Dinner break

8:00 PM Feature Concert: Helen Sung and Christian Sands

Sunday, April 15th- AT VERMONT JAZZ CENTER

10:00 AM Christian Sands, Masterclass

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
PIANO STUDENT FORUM with David Berkman and Christian Sands

2:00 - 3:30 David Berkman, Masterclass on Jazz Harmony + Reharmonization

4:00 Featured Concert David Berkman

This event was made possible by the generous co-sponsorship of A Friend of the VJC Summer Workshop.

April 13 to 15, 2018
8:00 PM
Vermont Jazz Center
Buy tickets on-line (secure server)

Please purchase tickets on-line to help avoid a massive line on the day of the show. There will be separate lines for "will call" and ticket sales. Please read our new TICKET PRICING POLICY.

Other ticket payment/reservation options:
In the Moment, 143 Main St, Brattleboro, VT
Call the Jazz Center at 802-254-9088 to reserve tickets.

Please note: A surcharge of $1/per ticket will be added to all tickets purchased with a credit card.
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