World-Renowned Jazz Pianist, Aaron Diehl ’03, Performs at MBK Cultural Series Event

St. Charles Preparatory School proudly welcomed back alumnus and world-renowned Jazz pianist, Aaron Diehl ’03, for an afternoon and evening of music, food and celebration!

See photos from the day on the St. Charles Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Aaron is a graduate of the Juilliard School and a Grammy winner. He is one of the most sought after jazz virtuosos, whose 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.

The musically-gifted world-traveler, who played with Winton Marsalis while still a student at SC (and many times since),  generously appeared at his alma mater thanks to the work of  the school’s “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) Mentoring Program. The group is a student-led organization promoting diversity and inclusion at St. Charles Preparatory School through its renowned mentoring program, educational and service activities, and community engagement.

The evening was emceed by St. Charles student, Sedric Granger ’20. Other performers included poetry from SC and Columbus Collegiate Academy students   Justin Efebera ’19, LeAndre Smalls (CCA 7th grader), Andre Barksdale (CCA 6th grader), Jerid Jackson-Rivera (CCA 6th grader) and  Anthony Aiken ’18.There was also a performance by student/pianist Christopher Walker ’18. After several solo pieces, Diehl joined Walker ’18 onstage to play a  side-by-side duet at the piano. Both have a special connection to their home parish, St. Dominic’s, where they have served as musicians. [The photo on the left shows the two in the afternoon preparing their duet.]

“My Brother’s Keeper” director, faculty member Michael Warner, and student president, Chris Walker ’18, invited and welcomed Diehl as the featured performer at its annual Black History and Culture Series. He gave a free evening concert performance in the Main Campus’ Robert C. Walter Student Commons to a crowd of more than 350 people. Earlier in the day he had played on the same stage for the entire student body, staff and faculty, and shared some of his own personal insights, high school AND professional experiences and life lessons he’s learned along the way.

AS part of the evening’s gathering, Diehl was presented with the My  Brother’s Keeper Vision Award “in recognition for alumni whose leadership and example inspire the vision of students of color.”

Other presenters in the culture series’ history include athletes Archie Griffin, Clark Kellogg and “FROM THIS MOMENT ON! performer Javier Sanchez.

Special thanks  go to the night’s sponsors that helped make the event possible: The Columbus JAZZ Arts Group, The Kelley Companies, American Electric and Power (AEP) and TRIAD Architects. Please view a copy of the program included in the slideshow provided. The event was catered by Berwick Catering with Just Naturally Yummy Bakery providing the desserts.

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