Benjamin Tweedt Takes Home Grand Prize at 2019 American Jazz Pianist Competition

Mike Lawson • News • April 18, 2019

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Benjamin Tweedt of Cincinnati, Ohio earned the Grand Bohemian Prize at the 5th annual American Jazz Pianist Competition (AJPC) held at Yamaha Artist Services in Manhattan.

As winner of the top award, Tweedt will receive prizes totaling more than $8,000, including a check for $6,000, a $1,200 check for three performances at Kessler Hotels and a $300 travel allowance.

Overall, seven pianists aged 18-25 performed in the prestigious program which showcased outstanding performances in both solo and trio formats.

Michael Clement of Bountiful, Utah and Benjamin Rosenblum of New York City were awarded the Yamaha Prize at the competition, each earning $5,500 worth of prizes, while Jahari Stampley of Chicago earned the Bösendorfer Prize capturing $6,000 in rewards. Rounding out the list of accolades, Rowan Barcham of Dallas, Wade Girton of Arlington, Texas and Michael Orenstein of Berkeley, California won the Brian Gatchell Award, each performer receiving a Yamaha P-125 digital piano.

“I’m thrilled I got the chance to make music in the company of such gifted musicians,” said Tweedt. “This whole experience has been so meaningful to me and I’m so glad to have partaken in it.”

Jim McNeely, Jeremy Siskind and Elio Villafranca comprised the panel of luminary judges at this year’s competition, while bassist Mike Richmond and drummer Adam Nussbaum accompanied each contestant during the trio section. 

“Each one of the contestants is so incredibly talented and I look forward to watching them as they embark on their musical journey,” said Bonnie Barrett, director, Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. “It’s been an honor to provide these performers with a platform to showcase their incredible skill.

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