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Valentine’s Jazz Recital Held Feb. 13 at Appalachian

012904smitherman_dl.jpgBOONE–Treat someone special to the sweet sound of jazz at the Valentine’s Jazz Recital Feb. 13 at Appalachian State University. A jazz quintet led by saxophonist Todd Wright and featuring vocalist Bob Smitherman perform at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

The recital is sponsored by Appalachian’s Office of Student Programs and Coffey’s Restaurant. The group will perform at Coffey’s following the recital.

Rounding out the quintet are pianist Ken Rhodes, bass player Jason Foureman and drummer John Wilson.

The program will be chosen from jazz standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Our Love is Here to Stay,” “The More I See You,” “Someone to Light Up My Life” and “Meditation.”

Wright directs the jazz program at Appalachian. He joined the music faculty in 1990. He earned a bachelor of music degree from Pikeville College and master of music and specialist in education degrees from Appalachian. Wright has performed with jazz greats Richie Cole, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Rich Matteson, Louis Bellson, Bill Watrous, Herb Ellis and Loonis McGloohan. He is a member of the International Jazz Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the North Carolina Music Educators Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Smitherman sings in the balladeer tradition of the late Joe Williams and Johnny Hartman. He studied at the Charles Coleman School of Music and the Detroit Institute of Music.

While a student at Wayne State University, he began working professionally as a guitarist and vocalist with the Bob Hopkins Orchestra in the Detroit and Windsor, Canada, areas.

He has performed at the Spoleto Festival with the Unifour Jazz Ensemble and the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival. He presently is appearing with the Reggie Buie Trio at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Winston-Salem.

Pianist/composer Rhodes was born in Memphis and raised in Chicago. A staff member at the North Carolina School of the Arts, he is widely known as a veteran jazz pianist. He has played with Mark Murphy, Sonny Stitt, the Woody Herman Orchestra and Gerry Mulligan.

Foureman is in demand as a bass player across the state. He is currently the bassist for the Bob Sanger Trio and Joe Robinson, as well as the bassist and artistic director for Melva Houston. He coordinates the Piedmont Jazz Festival and teaches at the Music Academy of North Carolina and at Guilford College.

Wilson is an accomplished jazz percussionist who adapts brilliantly to any musical situation. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the N.C. School of the Arts and the Manhattan School of Music respectively. He teaches at Pfeiffer University and Davidson College.