For over thirty years, the Jacksonville Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection – The Piano Place has been a jazz fest tradition. The event 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 talents 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 – The Piano Place will be on sale soon. Admission is included with the purchase of a VIP Full Festival Experience Package.
Anastassiya Petrova is a jazz pianist/organist from Kazakhstan and has been a participant in international festivals in Italy, Bulgaria, Russia, Panama, Costa Rica, and the US. She holds bachelor’s degree in Performance and Professional Music from Berklee College of Music and a master’s degree from Berklee Global Jazz Institute majoring in Global Jazz Performance. Throughout her musical career, Anastassiya has been given opportunities to share the stage with renowned musicians and she has also appeared on “The Voice” TV show in Kazakhstan and TEDx Talks at Suffolk University. In the future, she plans to release her debut album, conduct workshops, perform all over the world, and potentially open an online jazz school.
Seoul, South Korea
Jeongmin Ha is a pianist and she studied contemporary music composition at the Seoul Institute of the Arts in Ansan, South Korea, in 2016. Shortly after finishing her first year of college, she transferred to the University of North Texas to continue her studies and develop her jazz piano skills even further. Three of the works which she played in with the UNT Jazz Singers are included in an album that is soon to be released. She has also appeared at Denton Arts and Jazz Festival both in 2018 and 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies with honors from UNT in April of 2021. Jeongmin currently resides in South Korea and plans to move to the U.S. soon to pursue her master’s degree and musical career.
Los Angeles, CA
Pianist and composer Paul Cornish hails from Houston where he was a student at the prestigious Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Cornish was one of seven jazz prodigies worldwide selected to be awarded a full fellowship to attend the esteemed Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz at UCLA. There, he completed his Master’s degree, and studied and performed with renowned artists. He was the recipient of the the Grand Prize in the 2018 American Jazz Piano Competition, was awarded the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s 2020 New Note Commission and recently awarded the 18th Street Arts Center’s 2021 Make Jazz Fellowship. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Cornish has performed extensively throughout Southern California and across the globe with notable artists.
Since forming his first jazz group at age 16, Spencer Zweifel has become a regular member of the Colorado music scene. An accomplished jazz pianist, Zweifel is also in demand across Colorado’s front range for his skills in the funk, rock, pop, and salsa genres. Spencer graduated in 2019 with a degree in jazz studies from the University of Northern Colorado and won a Downbeat Magazine student award. In 2021, Spencer completed a Master’s in jazz studies from William Paterson University in New Jersey, where he studied with Geoffrey Keezer.
New York, NY
Recognized by GRAMMY.com as one of six big band composers pushing the format forwards and award-winning Yamaha Performing Artist, bandleader and composer Steven Feifke has been featured on stages around the world including International tours across Europe, Africa and Asia. Feifke has an extensive discography of over 30 albums and his compositions and orchestrations have been featured on hit TV shows via Netflix, TruTV, Hulu, and the 2016 award-winning animated short Solo. Feifke’s 2020 band album “KINETIC” on Outside in Music marks his studio big band debut. Feifke sits on faculty at The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and is the Co-Founder of A Step Ahead Jazz, an online music education platform offering comprehensive programs and tailored instruction to musicians of all ages and abilities. Feifke holds a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University and a Master’s Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
Master of Ceremonies