Aaron Diehl and Joshua Banbury
piano and voice
Pianist and composer Aaron Diehl mystifies listeners with his layered artistry. At once temporal and ethereal, his expression transforms the piano into an orchestral vessel in the spirit of beloved predecessors Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner and Jelly Roll Morton. Following three critically-acclaimed leader albums on Mack Avenue Records — and live appearances at historic venues from Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Village Vanguard to New York Philharmonic and the Philharmonie de Paris — the American Pianist Association’s 2011 Cole Porter fellow now focuses his attention on what it means to be present within himself. His forthcoming solo record promises an expansion of that exploration in a setting at once unbound and intimate.
Aaron conjures three-dimensional expansion of melody, counterpoint and movement through time. Rather than choose one sound or another, he invites listeners into the chambered whole of his artistry. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Aaron traveled to New York in 2003, following his success as a finalist in JALC’s Essentially Ellington competition and a subsequent European tour with Wynton Marsalis. His love affair with rub and tension prompted a years-long immersion in distinctive repertoire from Monk and Ravel to Gershwin and William Grant Still. Among other towering figures, Still in particular inspires Aaron’s ongoing curation of Black American composers in his own performance programming, unveiled this past fall at 92nd St. Y.
Aaron has enjoyed artistic associations with Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Buster Williams, Branford Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Philip Glass and multi-GRAMMY award-winning artist Cecile McLorin Salvant. He recently appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra as featured soloist.
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Juilliard. A licensed pilot, when he’s not at the studio or on the road, he’s likely in the air. Follow both his earthbound and aerial exploits via Instagram at www.instagram.com/aaronjdiehl.
At twenty-six years old, Joshua Banbury has been described as a visionary and singular vocalist and librettist. Originally from Austin, Texas, he is quickly gaining international attention for his work in opera, folk music, and jazz.
Most recently, Joshua made his solo debut at Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic under the invitation of Grammy award-winning counter-tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo. Joshua also recently finished an inaugural celebrated six-month residency at Soho House Austin with the Dayne Reliford quartet.
Joshua began his professional operatic career in the world premiere of "Qadar", commissioned by The Smithsonian Museum and the Sultanate of Oman, under the direction of mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves in 2014. Since then, Joshua has appeared as a classical and jazz vocalist with institutions such as The National Black Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, YoungArts Foundation, Glimmerglass Opera, Soho House Austin, The Phillips Collection, Looking Glass Arts, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and The New School.
Joshua’s opera libretti have been presented by Washington National Opera, The American Lyric Theater, The Kennedy Center, Fort Worth Opera, The National Symphony Orchestra, and The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts. In the spring of 2022 his ten-minute opera "The Burning Bush", composed by Jasmine Barnes, premiered at The Washington National Opera, and was heralded as "surrealist, clever, and precisely imagined" by The Washington Post.
This summer, Joshua will serve as the Julius Eastman Artist in Residence at Looking Glass Arts. There, he will co-compose and record, his first studio album with The American Baroque Orchestra. In the spring of 2023, Joshua will present a highly anticipated recital in tribute to Billy Strayhorn for The Sunday Concerts series at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
Joshua is a proud graduate of The New School and the Austin School for Performing and Visual Arts.