Campus News


Grammy and Emmy Nominated Acoustic Pianists

Grammy and Emmy Nominated Acoustic Pianists Play at Soka Performing Arts Center

Aliso Viejo, CA – Three critically-acclaimed acoustic pianists, Liz Story, Lisa Downing and Kori Carothers, perform at Soka Performing Arts Center on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 8 p.m. Single tickets are $30 for adults; and $26 for students, seniors and active military families. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are $25 each. Purchase tickets online at or by calling 949-480-4ART (4278).

Solo piano artists Liz Story, Lisa Downing and Kori Carothers come together for an evening of inspiring acoustic piano. Story’s improvisational style embraces jazz, folk, pop and classical genres and has led to four Grammy nominations including Best New Age Album. Downing was an avowed “metal-head” until hearing the solo piano recordings of Keith Jarrett and George Winston proved to be a breakthrough that inspired her to get serious about composing. Carothers, undeterred by her deafness in her left ear is now an acclaimed pianist with four albums to her credit.

A native of California with a classical piano background, Story took a job playing piano in a restaurant and was suddenly thrust into improvisations when she discovered that the piano she was to perform on had no stand for her sheet music. Over several months, these improvisations developed into compositions. When Windham Hill’s founder Will Ackerman heard a tape of her compositions developed from her improvisations, he signed her to record her debut album in 1983, “Solid Colors.”

Downing is a multiple award-winning international composer, concert and recording artist who is redefining the genre of solo piano. Her albums have won a ZMR Music Award for Holiday Album of the Year and ranked in the top five albums for worldwide airplay in its genre. A benefit concert she performed in 2012 for Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was nominated for two local Emmy Awards.

Carothers was constantly told she would never become a musician after, at the age of five, it was discovered she was deaf in her left ear. Carothers was passionate about her calling and, undeterred, she kept learning and practicing, never surrendering her dream. Now, years later, she is an acclaimed pianist and keyboard player with four albums to her credit.