Certainly one of the more common experiences in the jazz field is discovering someone new. Improvising musicians are capable of being musical travelers, voyagers. We want to join in on whatever we hear. There is a freedom to wander the musical landscape.
I think I always have been someone who likes to push at the edges of things, looking for something different.
It hasn't been hard getting nominated, but winning it is another thing. The competition is tough.
But if you listen to great piano players, both classical and jazz, there's a huge range of dynamics and colors and emotional expression that's possible with the instrument.
Most people learn to improvise on their own, listening to records, endless hours of noodling on their instrument in the bedroom with all their spare time. That's traditionally how people learn.