Deanna Witkowski - available for concerts 04/05

NEWS RELEASE Contacts: Deanna Witkowski tel. +1 (212)695-4821p/(212)695-4878f, e-mail: info@deannawitkowski.comFran Kaufman: FK55@aol.comNEW YORK PIANIST-COMPOSER-VOCALIST DEANNA WITKOWSKI AVAILABLE FOR 2004-05 BOOKINGS "A distinctive pianist and composer who plays with imagination, sensitivity and fire." - Fred Hersch, jazz pianist"Her playing is consistently thrilling, and her musical imagination seems boundless." - All Music Guide"One of the best of the new generation of jazz pianists." -­ Jazz Journal International"Witkowski is not far from jazz stardom with her keyboard techniques, her imaginative composing, and her wordless vocalizing. Remember her name." - JazzTimes 32-year-old pianist-composer-vocalist Witkowski, winner of the 2002 Great American Jazz Piano Competition and a recent guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, is available for 2004-05 bookings. In 2003, Witkowski toured extensively in support of her recording, Wide Open Window (Khaeon), with appearances ranging from Portland to Tel Aviv, and was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition. Upcoming touring includes stops in Germany along with festivals in Jacksonville and Rochester. Recorded in Chicago, Witkowski's release Wide Open Window paired her with fellow New Yorker, saxophonist Donny McCaslin along with the Chicago rhythm team of bassist Jonathan Paul and drummer Tom Hipskind. The album made several best-of-2003 lists and remained on the JazzWeek radio charts for eight weeks. Trained as a classical pianist and flutist, Witkowski has been performing jazz since her undergraduate years at Wheaton College. The vibrant Chicago jazz scene of the Œ90s found her fronting her own quintet and playing with William Russo's Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Witkowski's burgeoning interest in Latin jazz led her to renowned Cuban pianists Chucho Valdés and Hilario Durán, which in turn resulted in the surprising surety of her Latin-directed playing on her first album, Having to Ask. In 1997, Witkowski moved to New York with a full-time job as a church music director. For three years she composed for the church in addition to studying under Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira and pianist Fred Hersch. She performed in a duo series with Hersch at the Jazz Gallery, and her quintet headlined the 2000 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, which led to a broadcast on NPR's Jazzset. Witkowski's hard work also paid dividends in 2002 when she astonished judges and 1,300 audience members at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida and earned the coveted first prize. As Marian McPartland remarked, "Deanna has a strong sound; she's destined for a long career because of her nature: her drive shows that she's somebody who wants to be heard. It's fun to hear Deanna on her way forward."# # CDs, press kits, and photos available.