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Local Musician Competes In Prestigious Jazz Competition

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Aired 9/9/11

Joshua White was chosen to compete in a jazz competition in Washington DC this weekend.

Musician Joshua White performs at Dizzy's jazz club in downtown San Diego.
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Above: Musician Joshua White performs at Dizzy's jazz club in downtown San Diego.

Joshua White is one of twelve semi-finalists chosen to compete in the Thelonius Monk Institute’s International Jazz Piano Competition. He was selected from a pool of 160 artists from around the world.

White got the news early one morning via voicemail, after a late night of practicing. White laughs, "Yeah, I’m still not awake yet, so I give them a call and they said you’ve been selected to come to DC, top 12, so....let’s do it."

The 26-year-old pianist will compete by performing for 15 minutes at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC this Sunday. White says he isn’t nervous.

When I play music, I try to always just focus on what’s important musically. Like when we’re on the bandstand, it’s almost like a narrow-minded view because all we hear is what’s going on on the bandstand. Once we play that first note, it’s like everything else is gone.

If White makes the cut to the final three, he will perform on Monday night in a gala concert hosted by Quincy Jones and starring Aretha Franklin. The competition will be streamed live on the Thelonious Monk Institute’s website.

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