“His nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary indicate he’s above any convoluted technical showmanship. Instead, the dalliances with rapid-fire notes and recurring chord bundles seem a product of youthful enthusiasm and in-progress maturation.”-DownBeat
At 22, jazz piano prodigy Emmet Cohen plays with the maturity and confidence of a seasoned veteran. He has already shared the bandstand with Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Patti Austin, Maceo Parker, Billy Hart, Anat Cohen and others.
Emmet began piano studies age 3. At 10, he was accepted into the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. As his interest in jazz intensified, he spent summers at Litchfield Jazz Camp where important influences included drummer Cecil Brooks III and guitarist Dave Stryker. At 18, he won a silver medal from the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship and the DownBeat Student Music awards for “Best Jazz Soloist” and “Best Jazz Combo” (Emmet Cohen Trio). At 20, he took third prize in the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. Backed by Carl Allen and Rodney Whitaker, he performed at the Kennedy Center for 2,000 people. Meanwhile, he has played at top jazz clubs and festivals, including the Monterey Jazz, North Sea, and Bern Jazz Festivals.
Emmet’s debut album In the Element features Joe Sanders and Rodney Green. Recently he performed on The Jazz Cruise where, alongside jazz giants like Roy Haynes, the Clayton Brothers, Arturo Sandoval, and his mentor from Frost School of Music, the great pianist Shelly Berg, he blew away 2,000 diehard jazz fans. Emmet is also an accomplished Hammond B3 organ player and performs regularly in the NY/NJ and Miami areas as both a leader and a sideman.
This is Emmet’s first appearance on the Litchfield Jazz Festival Mainstage. His bandmates are drummer Evan Sherman (another Litchfield Jazz Camp alumnus) and, Russell Hall on bass.