JAZZ PIANIST SULLIVAN FORTNER
Thursday, December 8th @ 7:30 PM - SOLO PERFORMANCE AT THE HOUSE
“Fortner’s ability to simultaneously project his own voice
and reflect those of others reveals an empathy.”
– DownBeat Magazine
“His fundamentals as a player could hardly be stronger, and his instincts as a composer
and bandleader are almost startlingly mature.”
– New York Times
Join us for our second installment of a brand new partnership with The Blue LLama Jazz Club featuring intimate solo sets by notable jazz artists presented at Kerrytown Concert House, along with an additional performance in the same week by the artists and the groups they lead at The Blue LLama Jazz Club!
One of the most inventive and virtuosic pianists of his generation, New Orleans native pianist Sullivan Fortner has been stretching deep-rooted talents as a pianist, composer, band leader and uncompromising individualist for the past decade. In addition to associations with such diverse voices as Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Diane Reeves, Etienne Charles and John Scofield, Fortner’s frequent and longtime collaborators have included Ambrose Akinmusire, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stefon Harris, Kassa Overall, Tivon Pennicott, Peter Bernstein, Nicholas Payton, Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Fred Hersch and the late Roy Hargrove. Recent collaborations include GRAMMY-nominated releases Dear Love (Empress Legacy) and Generations from leaders Jazzmeia Horn and The Baylor Project, respectively.
SPECIAL SUPER-FAN TICKET PACKAGE AVAILABLE FOR $150!
Want to attend Fortner’s solo set at Kerrytown Concert on Thursday, December 8th at 7:30 PM AND enjoy dinner & a show with The Sullivan Fortner Trio at The Blue LLama Jazz Club on Friday, December 9th at 8:30 PM
A limited number of fan packages are available and include:
- Premier seating (not pre-assigned) in the first 2 rows for Sullivan Fortner’s solo set at Kerrytown Concert House on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:30 PM
- Premier table seating AND dinner at The Blue LLama Jazz Club for The Sullivan Fortner Trio on Friday, Dec. 9th, 2022 at 8:30 PM
For the past decade, Sullivan Fortner has been stretching deep-rooted talents as a pianist, composer, band leader and uncompromising individualist. The GRAMMY Award-winning artist out of New Orleans received international praise as both key player and producer for his collaborative work on The Window (Mack Avenue, 2018), alongside multi-GRAMMY winner, vocalist-composer Cecile McLorin Salvant. As a solo leader, he has released Moments Preserved (Decca, 2018) and Aria (Impulse!, 2015) to critical acclaim, and he’s only getting started. Now based in New York, Fortner has earned recognition in multiple DownBeat Critics Poll categories, winning first place in Rising Star Piano and Rising Star Jazz Artist.
In addition to associations with such diverse voices as Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Diane Reeves, Etienne Charles and John Scofield, Fortner’s frequent and longtime collaborators have included Ambrose Akinmusire, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stefon Harris, Kassa Overall, Tivon Pennicott, Peter Bernstein, Nicholas Payton, Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Fred Hersch and the late Roy Hargrove. Recent collaborations include GRAMMY-nominated releases Dear Love (Empress Legacy) and Generations from leaders Jazzmeia Horn and The Baylor Project, respectively.
A highly-sought improviser, Fortner has performed across the country and throughout the world at such cultural institutions as Snug Harbor, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Lorraine’s and The Jazz Playhouse in New Orleans, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Standard and Smalls Jazz Club in New York City. He’s appeared at celebrated festivals, including Newport, Monterey, Discover, Tri-C and Gillmore Keyboard, among others. In 2019, Fortner brought his band to the historic Village Vanguard for a week-long engagement he would reprise in 2020 as a virtual performance during lockdown. His notable studio contributions include work on Etienne Charles’s Kaiso (Culture Shock, 2011), Donald Harrison’s Quantum Leap (FOMP, 2010), and Theo Croker’s The Fundamentals (Left Sided Music, 2007).
Playing solo or leading an orchestra, Fortner engages harmony and rhythmic ideas through curiosity and clarity. Within phrases, he finds universes, and listeners often hear how he’s moved by each note he explores. Coming up in New Orleans, Fortner began playing piano at age 7, following a storied lineage of improvisers, masters of time and every iteration of the blues. He earned his Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and Master of Music in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music (MSM). A champion of mentorship, Fortner has offered masterclasses at MSM, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Purdue University, Lafayette Summer Music Workshop, Belmont University and Oberlin Conservatory where he held a faculty position.
Pulling distinct elements from different eras, Fortner’s artistry preserves the tradition and evolves the sound. He seeks connections among different musical styles that are at once deeply soulful and wildly inventive. Both his works and his insights have been featured in culturally iconic publications, from The New York Times to The Root. Accolades include the 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship awarded by the American Pianists Association, Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the 2016 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists and, in 2020, the prestigious Shifting Foundation Grant for artistic career development.