Presented by Keyboard Connection

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Florida Theatre
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Competition begins at 7 p.m.


General Admission $13.50
Visit box office or call to order: (904) 355-5661

For over thirty years, the Jacksonville Piano Competition has been a jazz fest tradition. Presented by Keyboard Connection, it continues to be one of the most exciting musical spectacles to be seen anywhere!

Five finalists representing the very best jazz pianists in the world are chosen by a blind panel of judges to compete for a cash prize and a chance to perform on the Main Stage at this year’s festival. This fierce competition has become an integral part of the festival and a favorite among many eager to witness some of the most incredible rising talent in the jazz world.

Past judges have included jazz legends such as Marcus Roberts, Brian Culbertson, Jason Miles, Joey Calderazzo, Lynne Arriale, Dr. John, Per Danielsson, John Thomas and other well-known jazz musicians.

Tickets to the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection on sale now. Admission is free with the purchase of an Experience Jazz 3-­Day VIP package.


2017 Piano Competition Finalists

Esteban Castro
Piano Competition
Hope Udobi Nwachukwu
Piano Competition
Jacob Hart
Zach Bartholomew
Piano Competition
Zoltan Balogh

Host: Courtney Lewis

Music Director, Conductor - Jacksonville Symphony
Haskell Endowed Chair

With clear artistic vision, subtle musicality and innovative programming, Courtney Lewis has established himself as one of his generation’s most talented conductors. Mr. Lewis begins his first full season as music director of the Jacksonville Symphony in October 2015. He concurrently served as the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic through the end of the 2015 – 2016 season. Previous appointments included associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he made his subscription debut in the 2011 – 2012 season, and Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he debuted in 2011.

Piano Competition Host Band

The Piano Competition will feature the talents of the UNF 30th Anniversary All-Stars featuring Lisa Kelly, JB Scott, Dr. Bill Prince, Todd DelGiudice, Aaron Lehrian, Barry Greene, Dennis Marks, and Danny Gottlieb.

There will a special performance at the Piano Competition by the host band during the event.