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Innovative jazz artists Hiromi and Aaron Diehl to make Chan Centre Presents debuts for 26th season

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia announced today two unmissable events for any jazz lover: Hiromi’s Sonicwonder on Saturday, October 7 at 8PM and Aaron Diehl on Friday, April 19 at 8PM.

“Hiromi is a truly electrifying artist who keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat during the entire performance. Not only is she a fiercely virtuosic pianist, she seamlessly blends unbridled enthusiasm and ebullience with heartfelt sincerity. Though she is considered a jazz artist, she defies the traditions of many genres, infusing the richness and breadth of jazz piano with pop and classical. A superstar in the jazz world, Hiromi is one of the few Asian women in the industry that has transcended gender and race.”

David Fung, guest curator

Hiromi, who goes by the single moniker for her stage name, was born in Hamamatsu, Japan. After studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she was mentored by the late Ahmad Jamal and bassist Richard Evans, Hiromi went on to release her debut album Another Mind in 2003, co-produced by both mentors. The album won the Recording Industry of Japan’s Jazz Album of the Year award. She performed at the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and later that year, released the emotionally charged album Silver Lining Suite.

An irrepressibly innovative musician and composer, Hiromi fuses jazz, classical, rock, and avant-garde. Her virtuosic playing, technical command, and self-assurance have created a powerhouse performer, described by The Guardian as a “Japanese hybrid of Oscar Peterson and Franz Liszt who can race through grand chromatic flourishes, negotiate dainty modal solos and swing like the clappers – usually all at once.”

For this concert, she brings her latest project, “Sonicwonder,” an electrified 4-piece band with heavy groove, featuring Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Hadrien Feraud on bass, and Gene Coye on drums.

Aaron Diehl grew up in Columbus, Ohio and studied both jazz and classical at the Juilliard School.  An “up-and-coming force in jazz” (NPR), he won the Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association in 2011. In 2013, Diehl released the critically acclaimed album The Bespoke Man’s Narrative. He followed this with Space Time Continuum in 2015, praised as a “jubilant, swinging outing” by The New York Times. His latest, The Vagabond (2020) was named one Stereogum’s Best Jazz Albums. Other career highlights include featured solo appearances with the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as a tour with Wynton Marsalis.

“Like Hiromi, I was excited about programming Aaron Diehl as his impeccable artistry is rooted in both his jazz and classical training, often intimate and emotionally rich in nature, Diehl's performances are acoustical jewel boxes where he converses with the audience using a lush palette of pianistic color.”

David Fung, guest curator

Subscriptions for Chan Centre Presents go on sale to the general public June 8. Single tickets available from June 13. Hiromi’s Sonicwonder and Aaron Diehl join the previously announced Anoushka Shankar for the 26th season. 

Thu Apr 20, 2023