Pianist, composer, and educator Jeremy Siskind is “a remarkable pianist” and “a rising star on the jazz scene” according to legendary pianist Marian McPartland. Siskind, from Irvine, California, began playing the piano at a very young age. By his early teens, he was performing original compositions all over the country through Yamaha’s Junior Original Concert program; twice, Siskind was even flown to Tokyo, Japan to represent the United States in front of Japanese audiences. Both his playing and composing quickly thrived upon beginning to study jazz with pianists Linda Martinez and Tamir Hendelman: he won first place in the soloist competition at the Fullerton College Jazz Festival, “Most Outstanding Rhythm Section Player” in the Reno Jazz Festival, and received scholarships from the “Friends of Jazz,” “O.C. Community Foundation Centennial Arts,” and the “Vail Jazz Foundation”; he also became the youngest winner of the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publisher’s (ASCAP) Young Jazz Composer’s Awards while still in high school in 2002.
Siskind won a sizable scholarship to the famous Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, to study with Harold Danko, Tony Caramia, and Bill Dobbins, among others. Fascinated by opportunities at Eastman outside the jazz realm, he added a major in Music Theory to complement his Jazz Performance studies and pursued complex musical projects, including learning to improvise in the style of Debussy’s Preludes, attempting to spontaneously compose fugues, and dissecting the art of the classical Fantasia form. Recognized by his peers as well as mentors, Siskind was voted the undergraduate student representative for the Eastman Jazz and Contemporary Music Department for the 2007-2008 school year; he also received the Anne Theodora Cummins prize for most outstanding student in the humanities. Outside of school, Siskind twice took second place at the Kathleen T. and Philip B. Phillips Jazz Piano Competition; in 2006, he joined an incredible list including Bill Evans, Teddy Wilson, and Wynton Marsalis as a guest on the famed NPR show Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz; McPartland later honored Siskind as her choice for the first Marian McPartland Fellowship, a merit scholarship awarded to an outstanding Eastman jazz student. A year later, Siskind was selected as one of only five finalists nationwide in a search for the American Pianists Association’s Cole Porter Fellow; he performed in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in 2008, the former as part of Fred Hersch’s “Solo, Duo, Trio” workshop, a musical experience that has liberated and shaped his music ever since.