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Deanna Witkowski Trio (The Kennedy Center)

Deanna Witkowski Trio

Winner of the 2002 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, pianist/composer/vocalist Deanna Witkowski brings an exuberance and vitality of spirit to her fusions of jazz, brazilian, afro-cuban, and sacred music. Her imagination has led her to many new worlds: a desire to improvise led her to pursue jazz even while she completed an undergraduate degree in classical piano at Wheaton College; her tenure in a salsa band during her days on the Chicago jazz scene in the mid-1990s led her to Latin jazz; her desire to explore Africa led to a semester of teaching piano in Kenya; and her interest in jazz and the church led to a three-year music director position at All Angels’ Episcopal Church in Manhattan.While working in the church, Ms. Witkowski continued to pursue her love of composition by writing new pieces both for church services as well as for her New York quartet, which she formed in 1998. Her second recording, Wide Open Window led to an invitation to appear on National Public Radio.