9 Pianists   
William Bolcom
Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, William Bolcom was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano. His setting of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, a three-hour work for soloists, choruses, and orchestra culminated 25 years of work on the piece. Its premiere at the Stuttgart Opera in 1984 was followed by performances in Ann Arbor, Chicago's Grant Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, St. Louis, Carnegie Hall, and London's Royal Festival Hall, the latter performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. In 2006, a recording of it won 3 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance, Best Classical Contemporary Composition, and Best Classical Album on Naxos Records. He was also awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2006.
He has received commissions from the Vienna Philharmonic (Salzburg Mozarteum), Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Domaine Musical, Saarlandischer Rundfunk, American Composers Orchestra, Saint Louis, National, Pacific and Boston Symphonies, The MET Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mendelssohn Quartet, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, and many others. Three of his operas have been commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago. William Bolcom is the former Chairman of Composition at the University of Michigan.
Waleed Howrani
Born in New York in 1948, Waleed Howrani was reared in Beirut where he studied music privately while engaging in trials of his first opuses. At thirteen, he came to the attention of the late composer, Aram Khatchatourian, who arranged for him to receive scholarships to study piano at Moscow's Central Music School and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
By the time Howrani was nineteen, he had been awarded the Certificate of Honor at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition and the Laureate at the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition, paving the way to concert tours in the former Soviet Union, East and West Europe, the Middle East as well as in the Americas.
Al Hill
Al Hill is a blues/boogie piano master, soul singer, guitarist, and song writer. His music is rooted in urban blues sounds of the '40s-'70s, but pulls freely from jazz, soul, and country. Al and his band won the "Best Unsigned Band" competition, held at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago in 2000. He was voted "Outstanding Blues Artist" at the 2005 Detroit Music Awards.
Al stays busy both as a front man, sideman, and collaborator. Since 2002, he has been keyboardist and music director for international soul diva Bettye Lavette, with whom he has played the Monterey Jazz Fest, Chicago Blues Fest, North Sea Jazz Festival, and concert venues throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. The Lavette band has also performed on Mountain Stage Radio, BBC London, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Al also collaborates with his wife, songwriter Whit Hill, in her alt-folk-country band The Postcards and has appeared on numerous recordings by other artists. He has toured extensively with Detroit blues luminaries Johnnie Bassett and Alberta Adams. He has performed on stage with Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Sir Mack Rice, Lazy Lester, Delbert McClinton, Raul Malo, Rick Holmstrom, Carl Weathersby, Sleepy LaBeef, and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Johnny Johnson.
Glenn Persello-Seefeld
Glenn Persello-Seefeld has been playing the piano for 13 years. Now in his junior year at Michigan State University as a Jazz Piano major, Glenn is the pianist in the MSU Jazz Band 1 under the direction of world renowned jazz bassist and Director of Jazz Studies at MSU, Rodney Whitaker. Glenn has also been a student of Rick Roe's since he was in junior high school, and continues his private jazz piano studies with Professor Roe at Michigan State University. In the Spring of 2007, Glenn won third place in the Phillips Jazz Piano Competition in Florida. He continues to keep impressing and pleasing audiences and jazz music lovers with his creativity and growth as a young great jazz pianist.
Mark Lincoln Braun (Mr. B)
Mark Lincoln Braun Mark Lincoln Braun (a.k.a. Mr. B) has long been considered one of the finest, and most inventive blues and boogie pianists of his generation. He is a rare living link to the first generation of blues and boogie pianists, having learned directly from legends like Little Brother Montgomery, Boogie Woogie Red, Sunnyland Slim, and Blind John Davis.
In demand for both educational programs and concert performances, he has performed throughout North America, Europe, Mexico, and South America. In 2002 he was a guest artist at the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. Today he further promotes his art and helps break down stylistic barriers by organizing and presenting the annual Mr. B's Blues and Boogie Piano Celebration. The festival attracts major figures in the blues and jazz piano world to Ann Arbor for collaborative performances. His broad range of interests enables him to feel equally at home playing boogie woogie classics with authentic fervor, and expanding the tradition into lively new settings, including jazz orchestra.
He has appeared on numerous National Public Radio broadcasts, including Mountain Stage, Good Evening, Our Front Porch, The Flea Market, At the Bride, and All Things Considered.
Mr. B is the youngest member of the Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has also been voted as "Best Solo Musician" in the Ann Arbor News Readers Choice Awards in the first three years of their polling.
Rick Roe
Rick Roe is Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at the Michigan State University College of Music. He has long been considered one of the foremost pianists in the region.
He won First Place in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 1994, and was a semifinalist in the 1993 and 1999 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. He has been a featured performer at the Jacksonville (Florida)) Jazz Festival, Savannah (Georgia) Onstage International Arts Festival, Montreaux/Detroit Jazz Festival, Birmingham Jazz Festival, Lansing Jazz Festival, Flint Jazz Festival, and Hawaii Jazz Festival (with Frank Morgan).
Roe has served as an educator/clinician at the University of Arizona, North Texas University, Michigan State University, the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, the University of Michigan, and the Montreaux/Detroit Jazz Festival. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Frank Foster, Jon Faddis, Wess Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Frank Morgan, Rodney Whitaker, Greg Hutchinson, Louis Smith, Donald Walden, Randy Gelispie, Tim Reis, Bobby Watson, Marcus Printup, James Carter, Derrick Gardner, Vincent Gardner, Rick Margitza, Harvey Mason, Sean Jones, Victor Goines, Andrew Speight, and many others.
Tad Weed
Tad Weed is a powerhouse of a pianist who recently relocated from Los Angeles to the Midwest. Tad's discography includes over 30 records and CDs which feature his playing as well as his arrangements and compositions.
He has performed with some of the greatest names in jazz including John Patitucci, Mundell Lowe, Carmen McCrae, Charles Lloyd and Woody Herman. Tad was on staff at Discovery Records of Los Angeles and besides recording and arranging he was a accompanist and performer with many artists including Chaka Khan, Al Cohn, Kenny Burrell, Bill Watrous, Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Stanley Turrentine, and Wynton Marsalis.
Since moving back to Michigan he has served on the music faculty of University of Michigan, Bowling Green University, Western Michigan University, and University of Windsor. He continues to teach and conduct clinics in jazz and composition as well perform and write for his group The Freedom Ensemble, and Dobbins, Krahnke,and Weed, a piano trio group. Some of his more noteworthy appearances include The Concord Jazz Festival, The Boston Globe Jazz Festival at Symphony Hall, The Kool Jazz Festival and The Berlin Radio Festival.
Ellen Rowe
Ellen Rowe is a jazz pianist, composer, and the Chair of the Jazz Department at the University of Michigan School of Music. She has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the U.S. and toured in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, and Australia. Active as a clinician, she has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory, the Hochshule für Musik in Cologne, and the Royal Academy of Music in London, in addition to many appearances as a guest artist at festivals and schools around the country. She has also been a guest on Marion McPartland's "Piano Jazz" on National Public Radio.
She is also an accomplished runner and mountain climber, having completed many marathons and successfully climbed Denali as well as many other peaks. She has also offered to help firsthand with cycling the piano across the state, by both pedaling and playing.
James Dapogny
Retired Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, James Dapogny holds degrees in composition from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Robert Kelly, Hunter Johnson and Ben Johnston. He maintains an active nationwide career as pianist-bandleader, arranger and recording artist with James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band.
He is editor of Jelly Roll Morton: The Collected Piano Music, a first-of-its-kind collected edition of a jazz musician's work. From 1999 to 2005 he worked on the restoration of James P. Johnson's two operas, neither left complete by the composer. De Organizer, with libretto by Langston Hughes and The Dreamy Kid, with libretto by Eugene O'Neill and additional lyrics by Mercer Cook were performed in 2006 by University of Michigan musicians under conductor Kenneth Kiesler. His most recent project has been the editing for publication of five late, virtually unknown, big-band arrangements by Jelly Roll Morton.

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