Jazz Night at the Cafe
Time & Location
About the Event
Here’s a bio about each on of the performers.
Kelley Parker, bio .
To Be Added!
Drew Stewart, bio.
Drew is an accomplished drummer having played with numerous noted musicians and bands. These include the All-American Jazz Orchestra with conductors Doc Severinsen, Henry Mancini and Burt Bacharach. He also played with the Stardust Big Band, The Pacers, Daryl Price and jammed with artist such as, Levon Helms, The Bar-Kays, Booker T and the MG’s, B.B. King, the Cate Brothers and many more.
Chris Parker, bio
Chris Parker is originally from North Little Rock, AR. As a young pianist, he was mentored by several local pianists and musicians, including Lee Tomboulian, Charles Thomas, Michael Bates, and Art Porter.
In 1991, he moved to Memphis to study jazz piano with Gene Rush, at Memphis State University. He also studied classical piano there, with Daniel Fletcher and Samuel Viviano. During this period, he sought out the tutelage of master musicians including Alvin Fielder, Kidd Jordan, and Vernel Fournier. After college, he moved to New York City, where he continued to hone his craft, working and studying with more master musicians that include Benny Powell, Chris Anderson, Warren Smith, Harold Ousley, and Frank Lacy. Chris returned to Memphis and received his Master’s Degree from University of Memphis, in 2009. His studies included classical piano, especially repertoire from the early 20 th century, with Victor
Asuncin, and jazz composition and arranging, with Jack Cooper. It was during this period that he met one of his future bassists, orchestrator and arrangers, Rufus Reid. In 2011, Chris returned to North Little Rock.
His most recent work, the “ No Tears Suite”, was debuted, for Jazz Septet, in 2017, as a part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the integration of the Little Rock 9 into Central High School in
1957. Chris currently teaches jazz band and orchestra and Mann Magnet Middle School, in Little Rock. The studio recording of the “No Tears Suite” also for release very soon. The orchestral arrangements, done by Rufus Reid, were debuted by the ASO this March. His ensembles for the suite, included Brian Blade on drums, Bill Huntington and Rufus Reid on bass, Bobby Lavell on tenor sax, Chad Fowler on alto sax, Marc Franklin on trumpet, and Kelley Hurt on vocals. The expanded ensemble with members from the ASO was conducted by Geoff Robson. Chris also has multiple releases on Makahala records coming soon, featuring William Parker and Bernard Santacruz on bass, Alvin Fielder, Anders Griffin, and Gerald Clayton on drums, Daniel Carter, Kidd Jordan, and Chad Fowler on reeds, Jaime Branch on trumpet, and Kelley Hurt on vocals.
Edmond Mason (Ed) Smith, JR.
Guitarist Ed Smith has performed in Arkansas since 1978. He has been a regular performer at many different venues around central Arkansas, including The Excelsior Hotel, The Country Club of Arkansas, The Afterthought, The Brown Bottle, Pleasant Valley Country Club, and many more, and recently completed 15 years at The Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. Recently nominated to the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame, he partnered for several years with many of the top performers in the area, such as Carwin Pleasant, Art Porter, (Sr. & Jr.), Charles Thomas, Earl Hesse and far too many others to list. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Ed was Euphonium (baritone), and guitar soloist with the Air Force Band of The West. He currently resides in Little Rock, with his beautiful wife of 61 years, Charlotte. They have two grown daughters, and two grand-children. They have been regular members of Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock, for over 30 years.
David Higginbotham, bio.
David is a music specialist with the Little Rock School District where he teaches young people the joy of music. He also plays upright bass and sings with a popular local dance band, the Bob Boyd Sounds.
His live music performance experience is quite varied with an emphasis on jazz. He's had the priviledge of playing with some great musicians and learning on the band stand what is impossible to learn from books. Highlights of his experience include touring with the rock band Gibraltar, a two year stint with the Tom Cox Trio, nine months at Cajuns Wharf with Joe Holland's Good Time Jazz Band featuring Charles Thomas on piano, El Buho (Gary Gazaway) and Friends, three years with the John Puckett Trio, six years as music director at Unity Church of Little Rock, Broadway touring production contractor for local venues as well as pit musician, and since 1994 the Bob Boyd Sounds. He is also a member of ASCAP and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), Local 94 (Tulsa).
- Jazz Night at the Cafe$10$100$0