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Beyond the Neighborhood – The Music of Fred Rogers featuring The KEVIN BALES Quartet with KERI JOHNSRUD
November 16, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 8:00 pm, repeating until November 17, 2018
KEVIN BALES ~ Musician, Teacher, Performer ~
By some measures, Kevin Bales was a latecomer to jazz, already 17 when he encountered the sounds and structures and became captivated by the freedom and corresponding challenges of the music. But if late to the party, he wasted no time in immersing himself in the celebration, declaring total commitment to what would be his life’s work and backing his announcement by resigning his job and designated career in computer programming.
Kevin could commit to jazz with a reasonable degree of expectation. He was already an accomplished pianist, with classical chops refined since the age of 10. So accomplished he was invited to audition for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, then under the direction of its most storied conductor Robert Shaw, at age 16.
Kevin’s initial career move was to the University of North Florida and a budding if little-known jazz program. There he met and performed with, and went on to record and tour with, a number of monumental artists who had settled into that burgeoning North Florida jazz scene. Giants like Wynton Marsalis, Louie Bellson, Eddie Daniels, James Moody, Ben Tucker, Ira Sullivan, Sam Rivers, and Nat Adderley. He counts among his mentors bassist Ben Tucker, multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, guitar legends Nathen Page and Jack Petersen, and the fiercely individual saxophonist Bunky Green. His meeting with Bunky Green led to five years of tours. His encounter with guitarist Nathen Page blossomed into 15 years of spot tours and four albums. And his work with trumpeter extraordinaire Marcus Printup has become a lifetime association that has included recordings on Blue Note/Capital records.
visit Kevin at www.kevinbales.com
KERI JOHNSRUD ~ Jazz Vocalist, Composer
“Keri Johnsrud is largely about finding the unexpected in the familiar. The bright shimmer of her voice, a crystalline instrument of deceptive simple beauty, defies the depth of her artistry.” – JazzTimes
“Johnsrud never sells any line short, and her commitment wins you over—as does the sheer suppleness and sweetness of her singing. She remains self-confidently sangfroid—there’s no tail-wagging appeal for your approval—which is probably why she secures it.” – New City
A highly appealing jazz singer with a quietly expressive voice and a deep understanding of the lyrics that she interprets, Keri Johnsrud has been an important part of the Chicago jazz scene for the past 15 years. With headlining appearances at Chicago’s top venues including the historic Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and Jazz Showcase, Keri has built a strong reputation and following among peers and fans, alike. While having a solid regional presence, she continues to perform across the country (including regular appearances in Atlanta and New York City) and has enjoyed singing in Iowa before a hometown audience of fans and friends. In addition to finding success with her own group, Johnsrud also lends her voice to the critically acclaimed jazz ensemble Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance.
Now with the recording of her second CD, “This Side of Morning”, she is making a major step forward not only as a singer, but as a lyricist and songwriter. With her collaborator and GRAMMY nominated pianist Kevin Bales leading a strong rhythm section behind her, Keri sounds in top form performing their originals on this latest album. Since its release, “This Side of Morning” has garnered rave reviews from respected industry publications such as All About Jazz (5 out of 5 stars) and Jazz Weekly and has been spinning regularly on national and international radio stations. ‘When Morning Dawns’, a cut from the new album, is even featured in the independent film “Thank You a Lot.”
As Neil Tesser (2014 GRAMMY Award winner for Best Album Notes) has indicated, “She writes her own lyrics, which have character and intrigue, and sings them in a voice warm and pure, precisely suited to the stories she tells. Some of those tales are mysterious, some hip, and others as guileless as a saint. But in every case, they slice through the jokey irony of pop culture to frame modern insights in fresh new music. She has done her homework; she’s thought things through..Johnsrud’s voice is an instrument of tempered silver.”
Singing since she was seven years old and born and raised in Iowa alongside professional vocalists, Keri’s plans for the future are as direct and as logical as her music; “I plan to keep singing, writing, teaching and performing as much as possible and want to take the music wherever it needs to go.”