Jazz Student Wins DownBeat Music Magazine Awards 

Jun 20, 2024

Award-winning pianist Roman Goron began the current stage of his musical career in the fall of 2023 when he enrolled in big band and jazz classes at Bellevue College.   

Student jazz pianist Roman Goron plays piano.

Award-winning pianist Roman Goron began the current stage of his musical career in the fall of 2023 when he enrolled in big band and jazz classes at Bellevue College.   

“The classes at Bellevue College allowed me to sharpen my style under the guidance of esteemed professors Jim Sisko and Brian Shaw.” Goron said of his college experience. “Professor Shaw’s recommendation led me to submit my performances to DownBeat Music Magazine.”  

This spring, sage mentoring from Shaw led to him winning not one but two DownBeat awards for Original Composition and Community College Outstanding Performance. Additionally, he received special recognition from the Young Arts National Foundation of the Arts, placing in the top contestants in the Jazz Piano and Jazz Composition category. 

Currently, Goron is working on a demo comprising six tracks, a mix of original compositions and arrangements, as he aims to establish himself further in the jazz scene. His ambitions are firmly rooted in the Seattle area for now, where he is embedding himself in the local jazz community.  He is currently booked for a 7 p.m. performance on June 27 for the Seattle Jazz Fellowship in Pioneer Square.

Goron is a seasoned Bellevue College student. During his junior and senior years at Bellevue High School, Goron took advantage of the Running Start program to enroll in foundational college courses and music classes at Bellevue College. He was soon recognized and awarded for best performance in multiple Jazz Festivals, including the Kansas City Basically Basie Jazz Heritage Festival, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, and the Bellevue College Jazz Festival. 

Goron’s musical journey is as dynamic and diverse as his compositions. Born to a French father and a Filipina mother, Roman’s multicultural heritage is reflected in his innovative approach to music. Though he started his musical education with the guitar at the tender age of 4, it wasn’t until he switched to the piano at age 5 that he found his true passion. 

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Goron began his formal piano training at The International School of Music. When he was 8, his family relocated to France, where his father was from. In Paris, he enrolled in a prestigious music school Schola Cantorum de Paris, immersing himself in music theory and notation systems. As he began to explore the world of music production, he uploaded his early works to SoundCloud. His musical curiosity led him to discover jazz piano, sparking a lifelong love for the genre. 

By the age of 10, Goron was already producing music using FL Studio software. He used his first upright piano to hone his skills, adeptly recording notes directly onto his computer. His involvement in an online production community in 2013 allowed him to connect with other budding producers, including Sam Guild, further refining his musical skills. This period marked the beginning of his experimentation with blending piano and electronic music, a fusion that would become one of his passions. 

Goron’s discovery of pianist/producers, such Rob Araujo and Anomalie at age 12, was a pivotal moment in his artistic development. Their unique sound — unlike anything he had heard before — inspired him to delve deeper into the realm of jazz piano, pushing the boundaries of his creativity. When he returned to the U.S. as a young teenager, Goron continued his musical education, expanding his musical mind and including other instruments into the mix. He joined the jazz band at Chinook Middle School and the orchestra and jazz bands at Bellevue High School. His versatility as a musician expanded as he picked up the bass, culminating in an invitation to perform with this instrument at the Bellevue High School senior Orchestra Concert in June 2023. 

Goron resides in Bellevue with his parents, Catherine and Franck, and his younger brother, Etienne. His journey is a testament to his dedication, creativity, and the vibrant fusion of cultures and genres that define his unique sound in the world of jazz piano.