Institute’s 2023 International Piano Competition (Oct. 14-15, NYC) in Association with the New Perelman Performing Arts Center

All-Star Gala Concert to Honor Renowned Jazz Vocalist Dianne Reeves and Visionary Architect and Jazz Aficionado Frank Gehry

Washington, D.C — Outstanding young jazz pianists from around the world will compete in the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition on October 14-15 in New York City, presented in association with the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC). The 2023 Competition will be a premier feature of the inaugural season of PAC NYC, located on the historic World Trade Center campus, adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The 2023 Competition weekend will include a highly anticipated Semifinals round on October 14 at 1:00 p.m., followed by the Competition Finals and a spectacular All-Star Gala Concert on the evening of October 15. The All-Star Gala Concert will honor Dianne Reeves and Frank Gehry.

Open to musicians age 30 and under from across the globe, this year’s Competition will shine a spotlight on the piano. At stake is more than $150,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a $50,000 first place award, $25,000 second place, and $10,000 third place.

The semifinalists will perform on Saturday afternoon before an all-star judging panel of internationally acclaimed jazz pianists including Bill Charlap, Herbie Hancock, Hiromi and Danilo Pérez, with more to be announced.  Each semifinalist will perform for 15 minutes accompanied by a stellar rhythm section featuring Carl Allen on drums and Rodney Whitaker on bass. The Semifinals will be free and open to the public; details on ticket distribution will be announced at a later date.

From this group, the judges will select three finalists to perform in the Competition Finals at the Perelman PAC on Sunday evening. The festivities will culminate with an All-Star Gala Concert featuring performances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dianne Reeves, Somi, Joe Lovano, John Beasley, Romero Lubambo, Ben Williams and many others.

The Institute will present its Maria Fisher Founder’s Award to multi-GRAMMY Award-winning jazz vocalist and educator Dianne Reeves. The Institute’s Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award will be given to globally-acclaimed architect Frank Gehry for his steadfast commitment to arts education, especially jazz and classical music training for young people. Past honorees have included Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Benson and Terence Blanchard.

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Competition plays a pivotal role in identifying, empowering and promoting the next generation of jazz musicians, educators and influencers. The Institute’s Competition has launched the careers of major jazz artists including saxophonist Joshua Redman and Melissa Aldana; vocalists Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jane Monheit, Jazzmeia Horn and Gretchen Parlato; pianist Kris Bowers; bassist Ben Williams; and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. These artists and dozens more from past Competitions have forged successful careers as performing and recording artists, as well as music educators helping to perpetuate America’s legacy of jazz.

The application for the 2023 Piano Competition can be found online at All materials must be received no later than Monday, July 31, 2023.

Proceeds from the event will support the Herbie Hancock Institute’s free, year-round jazz education programs, which target underserved public schools across the United States and around the world.

Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Competition

Formerly the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition, the Hancock Institute Competition is recognized as the world’s most prestigious jazz competition and for discovering the next generation of jazz masters. Each year, major scholarships and prizes are awarded to the talented young musicians participating in the Competition. The scholarships help pay tuition for college-level jazz education studies and provide funds for private, specialized instruction. 

Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is a nonprofit education organization offering the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and presenting public school music education programs for young people around the world. The Institute preserves, perpetuates and expands jazz as a global art form, and utilizes jazz as a means to unite people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. All of the Institute’s education programs are provided free of charge.

Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC)

Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) at the World Trade Center was conceived as the cultural keystone in the 2003 plan for the rebuilt 16-acre World Trade Center site. As a global hub for creativity, the PAC will create connections between artists and audiences from across New York City and around the world through music, theater, dance, opera, film, and other events and experiences, demonstrating the power of the arts to inspire and unite.  Designed by Joshua Ramus and his firm REX, in collaboration with theater consultant Charcoalblue and Executive Architect Davis Brody Bond, the building’s 129,000-square-foot “mystery box” houses three immensely flexible theaters that can be combined and reconfigured to accommodate artistic creativity, innovation, and invention and engage audiences with surprising new experiences at every visit.