Aaron Diehl Interview, NYC

By Filipe Freitas

Aaron Diehl, photo by © Ingrid Hertfelder (used with permission)

Aaron Diehl, photo by © Ingrid Hertfelder (used with permission)


Name: Aaron Diehl
Instrument: piano
Style: postbop, contemporary jazz
Album Highlights: The Bespoke Man's Narrative (Mack Avenue, 2013); Space Time Continuum (Mack Avenue, 2015).






Tells us one adjective that accurately describes you.

If you weren't a musician, what would you have been?
Airline pilot.

What do you picture in your mind while improvising? 
The finish line.

Which color would you pick to associate with your music and why?
Chartreuse… I don’t know - I just like the drink.

Tell me two persons who marked you the most as a musician. 
Benny Golson and Wynton Marsalis.

And two musicians whom you've never worked with but you'd love to.
Ron Carter and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor)

Can you briefly describe the hardest moment of your career?
That’s every day! Nothing is guaranteed. But this is also what drives me.

You are going to perform at Greenwich House on April 27 with pianist Dan Tepfer for the Uncharted concert series. How did this collaboration with Dan come up? 
Dan suggested the idea of performing duo piano for a performance at Bard College in October 2015. I’ve had a lot of respect for Dan’s musicianship, so I was very excited at the prospect of this collaboration.

Is it a challenge to play with another pianist?
Yes, because you are dealing with two instruments of the same timbre, with a wide tonal range. It would be like placing two symphony orchestras on stage, with two conductors. With two pianists, extra care has to be taken in playing within certain registers. Adding syncopation on top of that, each pianist has to be sensitive to one another’s sense of time.

On what other projects are you working right now?
I’m preparing for debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra (Gershwin’s Concerto in F) and LA Philharmonic (Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” Variations) this summer.