Penn Live Arts Blog

ListenUp: Pianist Sullivan Fortner

Posted December 11, 2020

Jazz ListenUp

Sullivan Fortner got his start on the piano when he was just four years old. His mother, a big fan of the gameshow Jeopardy!, had given young Sullivan a Fischer-Price piano for Christmas. After hearing the theme song a couple times, Sullivan plunked out the tune knowing just where the half steps were in the melody. From there, he began studying more formally at age seven, following a storied lineage of improvisers and blues-masters to whom he grew up listening. Check out this playlist to hear how this child prodigy has matured into one of today’s leading jazz pianists. It kicks off with the hippest version of the Wheel of Fortune theme song you’ll probably ever hear.