Artist: Ariel Pocock
Twenty-four year old Ariel Pocock has received international acclaim as an equally captivating jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. Notable performances include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the 2014 Jazz Cruise, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the Quebec City International Jazz Festival, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and many more.
Touchstone, Ariel’s debut album, features fresh and compelling takes on classic jazz standards, original compositions, and her own arrangements of singer-songwriter material. Produced by Matt Pierson, the album features an all-star band of Julian Lage (guitar), Eric Harland (drums), Larry Grenadier (bass), and Seamus Blake (saxophone).
Critical reception for the album included praise for Ariel’s “true facility for…sinewy jazz piano [and] breezy, achingly plain-spoken vocal chops…” (Seattle Times). “Touchstone is an album of equals, of profound mutual respect, of generously shared spotlights.” (Jazz Times)
Ariel’s original compositions and songs draw inspiration from a wide array of sources: Cuban and Brazilian folk music, the Great American Songbook, modern jazz composers such as Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau, and songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, and Paul Simon.
Currently based in Durham, North Carolina, Ariel is a 2015 graduate of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. In addition to performing, she teaches private music lessons at Russell Lacy Music (Durham, North Carolina) and has worked as a clinician for combos, big bands, and vocal ensembles at the Stanford Jazz Workshop Mentor Fellow and the Northeast Jazz and Recording Camp at Salem State University.
- Kalamazoo, Michigan
- Durham, North Carolina
2009 Essentially Ellington Outstanding Pianist
2009 Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Award
2010 Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocal Winner
Stamps Scholar, University of Miami 2011-2015
Frost School of Music, University of Miami
As the trio plays the intro to “Wives and Lovers,” her nonplussed demeanor and polished white glasses provide no clue of what is to come. Then Cecile McLorin Salvant steps forward. With growl and bite and pop and light she reimagines each phrase – lending a sardonic girlishness tinged with wistfulness to the well-worn classic. It is a revelation.