SMF’s original “Piano Showdown” productions have captured the hearts of audiences for the past eight years. Our 2012 edition places piano giants Kenny Barron and Cedar Walton alongside young sensations Kevin Bales and Aaron Diehl. Barron and Walton are NEA Jazz Masters and two of jazz music’s most revered pianists. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “The most promising discovery that Wynton Marsalis has made since Eric Reed,” Aaron Diehl’s distinctive interpretations of Jelly Roll Morton, Art Tatumand Duke Ellington pay homage to the tradition while establishing an original voice. Winner of the American Pianist Association’s Jazz Piano Competition, Kevin Bales has played with Rene Marie, James Moody, Marcus Printup, Bunky Green, Eddie Daniel and many others. See today’s Noon30 program for more information about Cedar Walton and page 10 for more information about Kenny Barron.