Aaron Diehl Named Jazz in July Festival Artistic Director at the 92nd St Y
The 92nd Street Y, New York announces pianist/composer Aaron Diehl as the new artistic director of the Jazz in July festival, beginning in the summer of 2024. Diehl – an American Pianist Association’s 2011 Cole Porter Fellow – has been hailed as “a composer worth watching” by The New York Times, worked with such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Cécile McLorin Salvant, performed at such celebrated venues as the Village Vanguard, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Newport Jazz Festival, and released three critically acclaimed albums on Mack Avenue.
Bill Charlap, the festival’s artistic director since 2005, announced earlier this year that he was stepping down at the end of this summer’s festival, and was instrumental in choosing Diehl as his successor. Good friends and collaborators, the two performed together at the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters concert honoring Jazz in July’s founding artistic director Dick Hyman, who led the festival for 20 years from its first season in 1985, as well as at three previous 92NY Jazz in July concerts. Charlap officially “passes the baton” to Diehl on July 20, when the two perform at this year’s festival in a concert that also includes 2023 American Pianist Award winner Isaiah J. Thompson and 2021 BMI Foundation’s Future Jazz Master Award winner Caelan Cardello.
Commenting on his appointment, Aaron Diehl says, “I’m deeply honored to be the next Artistic Director of Jazz in July at 92NY, and to build off of the extraordinary blueprint that both Dick Hyman and Bill Charlap have developed over the decades. Working off of these foundational visions, I intend to continue to expand the collaborative possibilities of this series, with an intimate, reflective, and nuanced experience around each concert. To me, Jazz in July is all about creating a communal space where musicians and concertgoers can come together to experiment with artistic honesty and vulnerability, drawing open-minded, open-hearted audiences into their worlds and taking them on a journey.”
“Aaron Diehl is one of the most distinctive jazz artists of this generation,” comments Amy Lam, Vice President, Tisch Music. “His extraordinary versatility and unique talent of melding traditional and original voices makes him the ideal leader for Jazz in July, building on the incredible legacy Bill Charlap created over the past two decades. As 92NY celebrates our 150th anniversary next season, we look forward to working with Aaron as he explores new directions in moving the art form forward.”
Bill Charlap notes, “Aaron Diehl has the artistry and vision to bring Jazz in July into a brilliant new era. With the appointment of Aaron Diehl as Artistic Director, Jazz in July is in great hands.”
ABOUT JAZZ IN JULY
In 1985, jazz piano legend Dick Hyman founded Jazz in July, and the modern era of jazz at The 92nd Street Y was born. As jazz has evolved as a genre, so has 92NY’s jazz programming. Past line-ups have featured jazz such greats as Kenny Barron, Ray Bryant, Kurt Elling Jon Faddis, Benny Golson, Jim Hall, Barry Harris, Jimmy Heath, Hank Jones, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Marian McPartland, Eddie Palmieri, Houston Person, Mulgrew Miller, Dianne Reeves, Frank Wess and Phil Woods. The broad nature of Jazz in July’s programming ranges from fresh perspectives on the jazz canon and American Songbook to celebrations of jazz-influenced music from Brazil, Cuba and more. Featuring the most distinguished artists in jazz today, the festival is also dedicated to showcasing the next generation of jazz talent, presenting artists including Cécile McLorin Salvant, Aaron Diehl, and Samara Joy at the earliest stages of their now major careers.