Darrell Mixon, bass
Kendrick Smith, tenor sax
Donald Smith, piano
Ronnie Burrage, drums
Pianist, singer, flutist and keyboardist Donald Smith was born on September 4,1943 in Richmond, VA. The son of a member of the famous gospel group, Harmonizing Four, Smith majored in music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Early on he played organ and flute with the Tony Zamora Territorial Band. A versatile and adventurous performer, Smith worked with a wide variety of performers as a pianist, singer and/or flutist. The younger brother of keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, Donald worked in his brother’s Cosmic Echoes group from 1975 until the late 1990s. He has recorded with Bobby Hutcherson, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, Lester Bowie, Craig Harris, Hamiet Bluiett, Pharoah Sanders, Leon Thomas, the World Saxophone Quartet, Fontella Bass, James Jabbo Ware’s The Me We & Them Orchestra, and most recently an album from 2013 by trombonist Dick Griffin. He worked with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Benny Carter, Archie Shepp, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jackie McLean, and led his only album for the Japanese Why Not label, a piano trio session with Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette.
Darrell Mixon is a 48-year veteran of the electric, and acoustic bass, and has performed in the U.S and Europe. Darrell studied privately with his father, John Mixon, Dr. London Branch at Mississippi State University, and Henry Lowe, former principal bassist for the St. Louis Symphony. Darrell has performed with Ronnie Burrage, Lester, and Joe Bowie, Gil-Scott Heron, Pharoah Sanders, Oliver Lake, Dakota Staton, and Marlena Shaw. He has recorded with Oliver Lake on Grammavision album "Plug It" Oliver Lake and Jump Up, and the Moors label recording "I Can't figure Out" with Joe Bowie and Luther Thomas, and with Joseph Venegoni, "Open Road" on the Triaxon Music Label.
Ronnie Burrage is considered a virtuoso, exceptionally skilled and regarded as one of the best in the business at his craft. He has toured all four continents from Siberia to South Africa to Japan. Ronnie is a well-respected educator whose biography is vibrant and dynamically diverse. He has graced stages with Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Frank Morgan, Wallace Roney, Jackie & Rene McLean, James Moody, Gary Bartz, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Joe Zawinul, Cedar Walton, Wood Shaw, McCoy Tyner, and Pepper Adams. Throughout his illustrious career he has been featured on over 100 recordings.
Saxophonist, composer, and educator Kendrick Smith was born and raised in East St. Louis. In high school, he studied with renowned baritone saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett, who played with luminaries such as Charles Mingus and was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet. Kendrick played weekly Spruill’s with jazz giant Willie Akins, and graced the stage with the late blues vocalist Mae Wheeler. He attended Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) on scholarship, where he studied Jazz Performance under soulful pianist and educator Reggie Thomas.
His Kendrick Smith Trio recently began a residency at thriving jazz venue, Thurman’s Bar and Grill. His appearance at this venue landed him a New York Times feature, which proclaimed, “Kendrick Smith was playing the alto saxophone like his life depended on it!” His first album will be released this spring, and his original classical catalog will be played by the University City Symphony Orchestra. He was selected to compose trailer music for an upcoming independent Hollywood film. Kendrick has been called one of the emerging pillars of the St. Louis music scene and looks forward to fulfilling that prophecy.
Tickets: $20 advance /$23 door /$10 full time student with ID