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San Diegan's will have the rare opportunity to experience the piano mastery of Joshua White in a solo context on Sunday, June 23, at Dizzy's (4275 Misson Bay Dr.), at 7:00 pm.

I've been listening to jazz for 35 years, and have had the great fortune of catching most of the giants of the instrument live, including performances by Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, John Hicks, Kenny Kirkland, Kenny Barron, Anthony Davis, Billy Taylor... the list goes on and on.

In addition, I've been blessed enough to see many of the younger generation of virtuosi in the past few years like Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran, Danilo Perez, Geoffrey Keezer and Aaron Parks.

But today, I can say without reservation, that Mr. White is my favorite piano player -- regardless of geography, style, fame and whatever other qualifiers one could attach to that assessment.

White's playing reflects the entire scope of jazz piano history, thoroughly grounded without being tethered. He is able to straddle the ostensibly diametrically opposed landscapes of lyrical "inside" playing with the raw, kinetic energy of the "outside" discourse without compromise -- and, he makes it all swing.

I have no idea what White has planned, program-wise, for Sunday's concert, but I am sure that it will be a challenging and rewarding experience -- as in-the-moment and boldly exploratory as solo-jazz-piano can get.

Photo by Barbara Wise

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