Will Kjeer of Saint Paul Named Winner of 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition

by | May 28, 2019 | Community

Will Kjeer of Saint Paul, Minnesota has been selected as a winner of the 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artist (YYPA) Competition.
The prestigious, annual program honors outstanding young musicians studying in the United States who excel in jazz, classical and contemporary genres, and is conducted by Yamaha, the world’s largest musical instrument manufacturer.
Kjeer is one of only 11 musicians selected nationwide to earn this distinction.
“For more than 30 years, the YYPA program has supported music education and helped foster the careers of young, aspiring musicians,” said John Wittmann, director of artist relations and education, Yamaha Artist Services. “We are thrilled to honor Will for his remarkable talent at this phase of his music career and watch as he builds upon the YYPA legacy in his path to a promising future.”
Kjeer is a pianist and composer based in Los Angeles, California. He has performed at venues throughout North America including the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Upstairs Jazz Club in Montreal, Quebec. Kjeer has also performed at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. He is an alumnus of the Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, an international jazz residency, performance and composition project, and the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. The Minnesota native was the winner of the 2018 Angel City Jazz Festival Young Artist Competition and will graduate from California Institute of the Arts in May.
Kjeer and the other 2019 YYPA winners each receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend, June 22-25, 2019. The celebration will take place during the Music for All™ Summer Symposium, June 22-29, 2019, at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will allow the young artists to perform in front of thousands, receive national press coverage and participate in workshops designed to help them launch a professional music career. The 2019 winners will perform with renowned international jazz artist and Yamaha Performing Artist, Anders Astrand at the annual YYPA Concert on Monday, June 24 at Emens Auditorium. The winners will walk away from the experience with services and support from Yamaha Artist Relations and professional audio and video recordings, as well as photography of their live performance.
Kjeer joins more than 300 talented musicians who have been recognized by the program over the last 31 years. Many have established successful music careers, both as performers and educators, including Conrad Jones, principal trumpet of the Indianapolis Symphony; Leelanee Sterrett, French horn with the New York Philharmonic; Stephen Page, Yamaha performing artist and associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin; Aaron Parks, acclaimed jazz pianist; and Kyle Price, artistic director and founder of the Caroga Lake Music Festival and Caroga Arts Collective.
For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, email jgascho@yamaha.com or visit https://yamaha.io/YYPA 



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