“His fundamentals as a player could hardly be stronger, and his instincts as a composer and bandleader are almost startlingly mature.”—New York Times
New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner plays with an ear bent toward tradition while finding space to develop within jazz’s well-wrought forms. The 2015 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz at the American Pianist Association, Fortner’s playing stands out for its bright timbre and contemplative take on melody. In addition to being a distinguished solo artist and bandleader, Fortner has collaborated with jazz giants Christian Scott, Roy Hargrove, John Scofield, and others. His debut album, Aria, earned widespread critical praise upon its 2015 release for Fortner’s quiet virtuosity in wrangling syncopated funk, languid waltzes, and hip-hop-tinged dynamics all into his own distinct harmony. At this year’s Discover Jazz Festival, Fortner represents the Crescent City in superb trio form.