Vancouver School of Arts and Academics grad a finalist for jazz award

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Zach Lapidus, who graduated from the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, was named one of five finalists for the American Pianists Association’s 2011 Cole Porter Fellowship.

The finalists will compete for a $50,000 prize and the title of 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz.

Lapidus, 23, now lives in Indianapolis, where the preliminary round of competition for the award was held May 7-9. The session was led by a group of five professionals, including Frank Kimbrough, jazz pianist and teacher at the Juilliard School; jazz pianist Darrell Grant from Portland; Dana Landry, head of the jazz studies program at Northern Colorado University in Greeley; John Salmon, jazz and classical pianist and 1983 Fellow of the American Pianists Association; and Brent Wallarab, founder and artistic director of the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra. The jury heard, in anonymous fashion, the CDs submitted by the 40 pianists nominated earlier this year for the awards.