Pianist, composer, and bandleader Aaron Diehl is a dynamic, virtuosic, and versatile artist consistently playing with what The New York Times describes as “melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint.” Diehl’s meticulously thought-out performances, collaborations, and compositions are a leading force in today’s generation of jazz contemporaries, spearheading a distinct union of traditional and fresh artistry.
He is one of the most sought after musicians of his generation, as evidenced by his critically acclaimed performances, collaborations, and compositions across multiple disciplines. A Steinway artist, Mr. Diehl is a 2007 graduate of The Juilliard School, the American Pianists Association’s 2011 Cole Porter Fellow, and a Monterey Jazz Festival Commission Artist. His work on Cécile McLorin Salvant’s For One To Love garnered him a Grammy Award, and his latest album, Space, Time, Continuum (on the Mack Avenue Records label), emphasizes artistic interactions between generations. Aside from leading his own ensembles, Aaron Diehl has amassed an impressive list of musical accomplishments, including serving as the music director for Cécile McLorin Salvant, collaborating with Philip Glass on his complete piano études, and scoring Jeremy McQueen’s ballet The Black Iris Project. He is the music director of a large ensemble project that celebrates the music of Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin. In 2016 Aaron opened New York Philharmonic's season at it's Gala Concert.
The 2014–15 season highlights include serving as Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center New Orleans Songbook concert series, performing in the New York premiere of Philip Glass’ complete Etudes at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, collaborating with the Spanish flamenco guitarist Dani De Morón in Flamenco Meets Jazz (produced by Savannah Music Festival and Flamenco Festival), and touring the U.S. and Europe with Grammy nominated jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. Ms. Salvant and Diehl’s Trio, featuring Paul Sikivie (bass) and Lawrence Leathers (drums), have select performances at: Walt Disney Hall (Los Angeles, CA), Jazz in Marciac (Marciac, France), Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, RI), North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Istanbul Jazz Festival (Istanbul, Turkey), Ronnie Scott’s (London, England), and La Cigale (Paris, France).
Diehl’s album on Mack Avenue Records, Space, Time, Continuum, emphasized the artistic collaborations between generations. Establishing the jazz language as a continuum uniting artists, the album includes performances by NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson (tenor saxophone) and Duke Ellington Orchestra alumnus Joe Temperley (baritone saxophone), alongside Diehl’s other established trio—Quincy Davis (drums) and David Wong (bass). The majority of the album consists of Diehl’s original compositions. The title track, featuring vocalist Charenee Wade, was co-written by Cécile McLorin Salvant.
The Bespoke Man’s Narrative (2013), Diehl’s debut album, reached No.1 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart and was hailed by JazzTimes for displaying “precision and polish.” KCRW praised the album, stating, “This is an album you can listen to again and again, honest music that invites you back in to discover new wonders with each listening.”