Have Piano Will Duel Jazz Concert









Vero Vino Wine and Food Festival presented their 2nd annual “Have Piano Will Duel” concert.


The 2nd annual “Have Piano will Duel” concert was held on Saturday June 29th from 6pm-8pm. Some of Indian River’s most gifted music students attended an intense workshop in the morning and performed a full concert that evening.

 Jacob Craig, Music Director and 2019 Laurel Award recipient for Educational Excellence, facilitated the event for a second year. 

‘Have Piano Will Duel’ celebrates the talents of incredible youths by giving these future artists the joy of bringing their best to a live performance and challenging them to accomplish this while rehearsing with other qualified musicians for a limited time.  This fabulous gathering on stage included Warren Williams on drums, Ryan Dillahay on guitar, Robert Kerstein on bass, Dominic DeGrandis on Tenor Sax, Kristi Beckitt on vocals and Jacob on piano.

2018 Ensemble Shiyan Vernon, David Israel, Ryan Dillahay,Luke Tessier and Maxwell Twardowski

Jacob Craig, Shiyan Vernon, Ryan Dillahay, Luke Tessier(drums) and Maxwell Twardowski(sax)

2018/2019 Facilitator Jacob Craig

Luke Tessier, Ryan Dillahay, Maxwell Twardowski, David Israel, Shiyan Vernon (not pictured) receive stipend certificates from Unity Spiritual Center’s Rev. Dan Holloway.

Jacob Craig began playing piano at the age of 5.  He is the Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach and was given the 2019 Laurel Award for Educational Excellence by the IRC Cultural Arts Council.  Jacob also serves as the Director of the Silver Tones community choir as well as the Pipe Major of the Vero Beach Pipes and Drums.  He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter University, his M.M. from FSU and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Sacred Music Performance.  

Kristi Beckett--Vocals……. Kristi is a graduating senior at St. Edward’s School and has a laser sharp focus on sharpening her skills as a ‘triple threat’ in acting, vocals and dancing.  Kristi is best known as ‘Mikayla’ on Nickelodeon’s, I am Frankie, and has performed in over 40 Broadway Junior plays. She was the recipient of the 2011 NPR Young Musician Spotlight award and is lead vocalist for her band, ‘Catch My Drift”.

2019 Ensemble

Kristi Beckett, Warren Williams, Ryan Dillahay, Robert Kerstein and Dominic DeGrandis received 2019 stipends from Unity Center's Glenn Ferdinand (in white).

Warren Williams is a sophomore at IRSC.  He was immediately enamored with percussion when he first picked up a pair of sticks at the age of four in his grandma’s church. For sixteen years since then, William has polished his craft with like-minded musicians at VBHS as well as worship teams at Christ Church of Vero Beach.   His musical models range from old school Buddy Rich to the contemporary Tony Royster Jr.

Robert Kerstein is currently a junior at Indian River Charter High School where his musical growth has flourished under the leadership of David Mundy.  Robert began playing the bass six years ago and has adopted talents such as Jaco Pastorius and West African bassist, Richard Bona as his template for excellence. During a performance with his band ,3+1, he experienced a feeling of euphoria which cemented music as an integral part of his life.

Ryan Dillahay is a senior at Indian River Charter and has been playing guitar since 8th grade. Ryan was one of our musicians last year and his smooth yet exacting style easily shadows his favorite artists such as Pat Metheny and Mike Stern.  After only one year immersed in the Charter program, Ryan fell in love with music and performing.  It is now his continuing pursuit.

Dominic has been blowing his horn non-stop since the tender age of 13.  He recently graduated from IRCHS where his participation in their jazz ensemble assisted them in winning the 2019 “Battle of the Bands” at Walking Tree Brewery. His smooth sax can also be heard in the melodic performances of the popular local troupe, 3 + 1.  Dominic leans toward the old school tenor sax masters like John Coltrane and Stan Getz when he is polishing his craft. 

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Unity Center of Vero Beach is host to the Event. Unity is a non-profit 501 (C)(3) tax exempt church: FEI: 591727454.  


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Site created by Susan Rane, Vero Vino Wine and Food Festival

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