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John Salmon Trio March 2011
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John Salmon Jazz Trio to Perform March 24

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 [3:55 PM]

John Salmon Trio March 2011
The John Salmon Trio will perform at 7 p.m. CT on March 24 in the W.W. Slider Humanities
Center Recital Hall. From left: Steve Haines, John Salmon and drummer Thomas Taylor.

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Jazz Appreciation Month is not until April, but the Lindsey Wilson College community will get an early start on the annual celebration of one of America's greatest art forms when the John Salmon Trio performs on March 24 on the LWC A.P. White Campus.

The John Salmon Trio will perform at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 24, in the W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. The event -- which is part of the Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Series -- is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature a wide variety of jazz standards from Cole Porter and Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as original pieces by Salmon. Salmon's latest CD, Salmon Is A Jumpin', was recently released on Albany Records.

"Although jazz is a very large, multifaceted tradition, the kind of jazz we play is pretty standard," said Salmon, who is a faculty member at University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

In addition to Salmon on piano, the trio includes fellow North Carolina-Greensboro faculty members bassist Steve Haines and drummer Thomas Taylor. In addition to North America, the three have also performed together in Asia and Europe.

Salmon said the legendary jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, who pioneered what became known as the cool style of jazz music, has heavily influenced his style. North Carolina native son the late Thelonious Monk, who was one of the founders of the bebop style of jazz, and the late Bill Evans, another icon of mid-20th century jazz, have also influenced his work.

"I think I can speak for my drummer Thomas Taylor in saying that his strongest influences have been Max Roach and Elvin Jones, while my bassist Steve Haines would surely count Ray Brown and Charlie Mingus as important sources," Salmon said.

The March 24 concert at LWC will feature a good bit of improvisation, which is at the heart of jazz.

"Most of the time, we follow the standard jazz procedure of playing the 'head' -- the melody of the piece -- followed by improvisations over the chord pattern of that piece," Salmon said. "Sometimes we engage in 'free improvisation,' as we will do in my piece 'Life So Far,' which has a portion that is completely free -- we don't have anything planned out."

Salmon, who is known for his association with and recordings of Brubeck, plays both classical and jazz music. As he pointed out, the two musical genres share several characteristics.

"I have always played classical music -- Bach, Beethoven, Chopin -- but I've also always played jazz," he said. "It's like speaking two languages, perhaps speaking two Romance languages. … There are jazz harmonies embedded in late-19th century French classical music, the same chords Duke Ellington used in the 1920s."

Haines, who is director of the Miles Davis Jazz Studies program at North Carolina-Greensboro, has recorded with Branford Marsalis, Jason Marsalis and Jimmy Cobb. He orchestrated and arranged the musical Ella: The Life and Music of Ella Fitzgerald.

Taylor has taught at the legendary Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops at the University of Louisville and has performed with Ellis Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Eric Alexander, Kevin Mahogany, Vanessa Rubin, David Baker, Bill Charlap, Cedar Walton and Mulgrew Miller.

The John Salmon Trio will perform at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 24, in the Lindsey Wilson College W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact LWC Cultural Affairs Chair Phil Hanna at or (270) 384-8250.

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