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I don't envy Chuck Perrin, who had to pare down a list of local pianists to just eight for the upcoming Piano Summit 2012 to be held at the new Dizzy's November 18 at 7 p.m.

A lot of really great artists didn't make the list, including Mike Wofford, Geoffrey Keezer, Lynn Willard, Rick Helzer, Reka Parker, Ed Kornhauser and Richard James, to name a few.

It's hard to fault him for the folks he did pick, though: Anthony Davis, Barnaby Finch, Irving Flores, Danny Green, Daniel Jackson, Richard Thompson, Joshua White and Mikan Zlatkovich are all superb musicians who will each bring something distinctly personal to the house piano.

Anthony Davis is perhaps the biggest San Diego keyboard secret. This man achieved master status back in the mid-70s, and after witnessing his recent collaboration with flutist Nicole Mitchell at UCSD, I can guarantee that those in attendance are in for a mind-blowing experience.

Barnaby Finch is a guy you've heard even if you have no jazz-awareness at all. That's Finch playing on the Lionel Ritchie/ Diana Ross mega-hit, "Endless Love," back in the early '80s. He also toured the world with guitarists George Benson, and Lee Ritenour, and saxophonist Ronnie Laws.

Irving Flores is a fiery Latin-music giant who has been manning the keyboard chair in the Gilbert Castellanos New Latin Jazz Quintet for many years.

Danny Green is a young piano phenomenon who is equally adept in Classical, Jazz and Brazilian music--and he's just released a new CD (A 1000 Ways Home), to critical acclaim.

Daniel Jackson isn't just one of the best tenor saxophonists in the West Coast--he's also a startlingly original pianist who pretty much taught himself the instrument.

Richard Thompson is a new name to me--and I'm especially pumped to hear him play. None other than Joshua White compared him favorably to LA composer Billy Childs--a heavy compliment.

Joshua White is quite simply, one of the best musicians I've ever heard. A true improviser, White creates in the moment, and sparks always fly when he sits down at the instrument.

Mikan Zlatkovich has a complete understanding of jazz piano history, and you can often hear references to McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Chick Corea and other giants in his improvisations. Always exciting.

Anyone who loves piano, or just great music can't afford to miss this one.


Concert poster by Jamie Shadowlight

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