Happy New Year and here's hoping that your holidays were happy and memorable. It is now 2019... and the FUSION COFFEEHOUSE JAZZ SERIES is in its 16th year of presenting and interviewing some of the most dynamic, interesting, talented and busy jazz musicians in Mississippi and beyond. Did we say busy? To kick off the new year we are bringing back one of THE busiest and best musicians ever to visit the Jazz Spot when ANDREW LEWIS returns.
When Andrew was last our guest he was playing gigs with everyone, playing a full schedule for his Church, traveling to South Africa and back for his work with the I CAN FOUNDATION, welcoming a brand new member into the Lewis family (another girl!) and teaching private music lessons in addition to attending school himself and earning a Master's degree at Jackson State University. Since then, he has added a few more items to an impossibly busy and productive schedule. He is now entering the dissertation phase of the Ph.D. program at the University of Southern Mississippi and is also a new instructor teaching Music Theory, Music Industry and Jazz Studies at Hinds Community College in Raymond. He is part of the Youth Ministry at Springhill Christian Center. AND.... he is working on an upcoming recording project.
And somehow he has made time to visit us again on January 27th at Fusion Coffeehouse (where you will meet his brother-in law Antonio Chambers on drums!). Says host Raphael Semmes, "It's going to be nice to have Andrew back on the Jazz Spot. We are happy that we were finally able to make it happen. Lots to catch up on and lots of music to play." He adds, "Andrew is a wonderful player who has some interesting takes on tunes. You can hear his life in his playing. Lots of joy and thoughtfulness. And there's definitely some Church in there! Man, he really swings."
Raphael also notes Andrew's work ethic is not limited to just practicing and playing the piano but to loading and transporting it as well. "A while back Andrew found an old Fender Rhodes electric piano (the kind that weighs about a million pounds) and it sounds so good that sometimes he liked playing it on gigs. And It's cool if he wants to bring it to Fusion... as long as I don't have to help him move it!."
We think you'll be moved by the music on January's Jazz Spot. But try to arrive early for best seating. And please note our new format with one set beginning at 3:30 pm and ending at 5.
We hope to announce the 2019 festival headliners before the end of the year. Stay tuned!
Our most successful festival yet!
Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed an incredible day of music, food, and fun! We had an impressive turnout for our stellar lineup. Mr. Benny Golson and his quartet were incredible, as were Astral Project, Russell Welch, Aurora Nealand, the Vamps, Southern Komfort and more. Here are some scenes from the day...
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