This Thursday: Riffin’ with young piano maestro Aaron Diehl

The idea behind Riffin’: CapitalBop Listening Sessions at the Atlas is to explore the roots of jazz, as they run through the work of today’s musical pioneers. Before each major jazz show at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, we sit down with the headliner and watch videos of artists who have impacted her or him. Then we open up a discussion between the artist and the audience.


It’s going to be especially exciting to have a conversation with Aaron Diehl, a 30-year-old pianist who seems to have direct access to the legacy of the masters.


In Diehl’s piano playing, you hear the dazzling command of an Art Tatum twined with the artful restraint of John Lewis. There’s a reason Diehl is the musical director for world-famous vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant — whose repertoire stretches farther into the unlit reaches of jazz history than almost any other singer’s — and why his first two albums on Mack Avenue have received enthusiastic responses from critics and fans.

This Thursday at 8 p.m., Diehl performs with his fabulous trio, featuring Pete Van Nostrand on drums and Yasushi Nakamura on bass. Come at 7 to be a part of our intimate conversation with this young piano master.



Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

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Giovanni is the founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic for the New York Times. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop's concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at Read him at or Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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