19 June 2018
The Chicago-based contest completed its very first edition recently, and they hope to successfully push on to their second edition next year.
The Chicago Blues Piano Contest completed their very first edition back on June 10th at the Performing Arts Studio in Chicago, USA, during the weekend of the 35th Annual Chicago Blues Festival.
The contest saw the participation of international professional piano players of high caliber from all over the world. Whilst Rie Kanehira from Japan won the 1st place prize, fellow pianists Hatsumi Wada and Tim Barton both won 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
President of the jury was legendary Chicago Blues piano player Erwin Helfer. His fellow judges included Marty Sammon (a member of American Blues singer Buddy Guy's band), Sumito 'Ariyo' Ariyoshi (who works with fellow Chicago Blues artist Billy Branch & the SOB), and Luca Chiellini (a member of the Chicago Blues band Toronzo Cannon & The Chicago Way).
The performing arts studio saw a highly impressive crowd participation for the event as the night ended with a particularly special performance by the judges together with the winners of this year's edition.
The contest celebrates the Chicago Blues piano style - which is famous all over the world - with the goal of preserving its tradition as well as exposing new generations of piano players to the genre. The contest will return in 2019 for its Second Edition. The date of next year's edition will be announced this September 2018.