Today’s Art Talk Monday is from Libby English with the Dixie Center for the Arts. Call her at the box office at (318)255-1450 to reserve your seat for the show!
A Great “Gumbo” of Music at the Dixie!
The Dixie is pleased to present “John Lee Sanders & Friends” in concert Tuesday, October 10 at 7:00 PM. Tickets for reserved seating are $20.00 at the door or in advance or 2 for $10.00 for students in the balcony with cash and an ID. Doors open at 6:00 PM.
John began performing at the age of 12 and comes from deep roots of jazz, blues, and gospel music through his early years in the Mississippi Delta, Alabama, and the Bayous of Louisiana, and especially the musical culture of New Orleans. He got a taste of the excitement that surrounded his future profession when a trip to Memphis resulted in a meeting with the Elvis Presley family.
Louisiana can also claim John as one of its own. He is a graduate of ULM where he and Lawrence Gibbs first met in the ULM Jazz Ensemble and have kept in touch through the years. After a call from Lawrence, John agreed to come to Ruston to perform. He has shared the stage, opened for, recorded or toured with some of the biggest legends of the last 50 years, including Stevie Wonder, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Bill Withers, Chuck Berry, Bonnie Raitt, The Temptations, Percy Sledge, Starship, Paul Williams, and John Lee Hooker. Lawrence said, “Get ready for an awesome musical experience because this man is a consummate performer!”
With blues as his core, he has evolved a complex “musical gumbo” with the flavors of Cajun, Rock, Gospel, Pop, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Country, and Classical, all of which have given him a deep love of the traditions and cultures of the South. John is not only a gifted composer/lyricist, but also a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, saxophone, and guitar, and as a vocalist. He has won many accolades, including a 2007 Emmy nomination for song of the year. His tours take him to the major jazz and blues festivals in the USA, Western Canada, and Europe.
Perhaps not his greatest achievement but a memorable moment from his past was during a visit to Hollywood for a recording session. He decided to audition for the Gong Show where he played “Sweet Georgia Brown” on “air hands” and then the saxophone and won! Check out the Gong Show here! He went on later to sign a large recording contract in 1980 with Rod Stewart’s Riva Records and still works in the studios doing demos, commercials, and soundtracks.
His career took an interesting turn with the 2000 release from Interscope of Mozart Rhythm & Romance. The album is based on music by Mozart, to which he gave a decidedly new-age spin. His selections are reminiscent of elements of jazz, flamenco, Celtic, blues, African and Brazilian music. Go to http://johnleesanders.com for more info on a truly professional musician.
Be prepared for another evening of excellent entertainment and join us on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:00 PM at the Dixie. In addition, keep an eye on the marquee and this column for more great music and other programs presented by our Priority Partners: Ruston Community Theatre and North Central Louisiana Arts Council.