Winner of the 2002 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, pianist/composer/vocalist Deanna Witkowski has been heralded for her “consistently thrilling” playing and her “boundless imagination” (All Music Guide). Her 2009 release, From This Place, marries ancient and modern sacred texts with the richness of jazz, and led to media interviews ranging from NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday to Interfaith Voices. In 2009, Witkowski presented Moving with the Spirit: The Sacred Jazz of Mary Lou Williams, at the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Festival.
Ms. Witkowski’s previous three releases, Length of Days (2005), Wide Open Window (2003), and Having to Ask (2000) clearly demonstrated her prowess as “one of the best of the new generation of jazz pianists” (Jazz Journal International) and showcased her rich fusions of jazz, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban music. Her “consistently thrilling playing” (All Music Guide) was publicly confirmed in 2002 when she won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Subsequent invitations to appear on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz followed in 2003.
Ms. Witkowski also embodies a love of Brazilian culture. Fluent in Portuguese, she has toured twice in Brazil, most recently appearing at the Recife Jazz Festival. Her travels have also led to performances at the Tel Aviv Opera House and Espaço Bis in Rio de Janeiro. She spent the summer of 2004 touring internationally as the pianist for vocalist Lizz Wright, and since 2006 has been the pianist in the BMI/New York Jazz Composers Orchestra, led by Jim McNeely. She holds a M.A. in jazz piano performance from the City College of New York and a B.M. in classical piano performance from Wheaton College (IL).
To hear soundclips, interviews, and to purchase sheet music and recordings, visit http://deannajazz.com.
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