14 year-old Upper Arlington High School freshman pianist, Abhik Mazumder, was recently announced as the winner of Jazz Arts Group’s 2016 Hank Marr High School Jazz Award. The award comes with a $500 cash prize and a chance to perform with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra at an upcoming JazZoo concert this summer. Winner of numerous first and second prizes at international classical piano compositions, Mazumder came to love jazz through studying with the late Mark Flugge, and he continues to study jazz piano with Erik Augis. He is a member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, and some of his greatest influences on the piano are Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Eddie Higgins, Bill Evans, and Oscar Peterson. Congratulations Abhik! Keep reading for full details from JAG:
Upper Arlington High School Freshman, Abhik Mazumder, Claims 2016 Hank Marr High School Jazz Award
Columbus, OH –The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) has announced its winner of the 2016 Hank Marr High School Jazz Award – 14 year-old Upper Arlington High School freshman pianist, Abhik Mazumder. The award demonstrates excellence in musicianship and performance amongst Ohio’s young students of jazz and comes with a cash prize of $500 and an opportunity to perform with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, led by Byron Stripling, during the 2016 JazZoo concert series at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Mazumder was one of three young performers to make it to the finals of the competition which began with a first round blind audition process adjudicated by Michael Cox, professional saxophonist and Professor of Music at Capital University; Ben Huntoon, trumpeter and Jazz Education Specialist at Stanton’s Sheet Music; and Kevin Turner, guitarist and Lecturer at Ohio State University.
The other finalists were Craig Jackson, saxophonist, a junior at Stivers School of the Arts and a member of the 2016 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) All-Star Jazz Ensemble; and Seth Johnson, saxophonist, a junior at Dublin Scioto High School and, like Mazumder, a member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Mazumder fell in love with classical piano at the age of four, and has garnered international awards at many classical piano competitions. His love of jazz emerged in 2009 while studying with the late Columbus piano great, Mark Flugge. Since then, Abhik has been performing jazz extensively, both as a solo artist and member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Adjudicators for the final round of the competition were Tom Carroll, guitar, Professor of Music, Denison University; Pete Mills, saxophone, Professor of Music, Denison University; and Zach Compston, drums, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Jazz Arts Group.
Tom Carroll and Pete Mills each described Mazumder’s performance as “spectacular,” and noted his incredible maturity and sense of “touch” in his piano playing. Carroll pointed out that he felt he was “listening to Hank” in a unique way during Abhik’s performance.
About Hank Marr:
Columbus music legend Hank Marr was one of the world’s masters of the Hammond B-3 organ. Along with Hank’s celebrity status as a member of the jazz elite, he was a dedicated and gifted educator. In recognition of over fifty years as a performer, teacher, arranger and conductor, the Jazz Arts Group established the Hank Marr High School Jazz Award as a tribute to this special individual. His willingness to “pass it on” makes the encouragement of young jazz artists an important and meaningful activity.
The Jazz Arts Group thanks Crabbe, Brown & James for its financial support of the Hank Marr High School Jazz Award. We also extend thanks to the many individual contributors who knew and loved Hank.
About the Jazz Arts Group:
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s premier not-for- profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: The Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world’s finest professional jazz orchestras led by internationally renowned trumpet virtuoso, Byron Stripling; The Jazz Academy, JAG’s extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Jazz Arts Group Presents, a new jazz and blues performance series highlighting smaller ensembles and up-and-coming performers presented at the historic Lincoln Theatre in the King-Lincoln District and at Columbus’ newest live music venue, Notes, located in the city’s Brewery District; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment and performance opportunities for professional musicians.