Jazz House Kids graduates Caelan Cordello, Esteban Castro and Isaiah J. Thompson have been announced as three of the five finalists for the 2023 American Pianist Award by the American Pianist Association (APA).

Awarded every four years, the winner receives career support valued at more than $200,000 including a cash prize, two years of career assistance, a media and performance tour, an artist residency and more.

"I started at the Jazz House when I was 12 years old and immediately felt at home," Cordello said in an announcement from Jazz House. "My first instructors, Ed Palermo and Bruce Williams were so encouraging, and taught me all the fundamentals in a really fun way, it made me want to keep going back the next day. Thanks to the JAZZ HOUSE, I never doubted my path."

The five finalists were chosen from more than 1,200 nomination across the U.S. and have already each been awarded cash prizes of $25,000.

"I am very proud of the man and the musician Isaiah has become," Juanita Thompson, parent of Isaiah Thompson, said in the announcement. "The Jazz House should be proud too for the resounding results — it keeps producing them! Congratulations to Melissa, Christian and all the faculty for helping him see his path forward,"

On Wednesday, May 25, The Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at the Lincoln Center will host the American Pianists Awards sneak preview, with sets at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. From September 2022 through February 2023, each finalist will fly to Indianapolis to perform live in front of a jury consisting of solo and trio sets at the Jazz Kitchen.

On April 21, 2023 the five finalists will return to Indianapolis to perform at The Cabaret. And on April 22, 2023 the grand finals will be held at Hilbert Circle Theater in Indianapolis. Each finalist will perform with the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and three-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant.

"To think all three of these incredible young artists came through the Jazz Houseis both astounding and reaffirming. We know this is a special place where like-minded young people come together and see their talents flourish," Jazz House summer workshop and cultural programming director Ted Chubb said in the announcement. "Each of these individuals possesses all of what the JAZZ HOUSE seeks to instill in our students — artistry, creativity, empathy, and citizenship. We are so excited to see amazing careers unfold for Caelan, Esteban, and Isaiah, but also what is in store for our current students and recent alumni who aspire to the heights of musicianship that these three represent,"