The Vince Lewis Jazz Trio will perform a concert of Great American Standards at Bluefield College, Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in Harman Chapel.
Open and free to the community, the concert will feature jazz musicians Vince Lewis on guitar, Bob Bowen on bass, and Chris Hudson on drums with special guest vocalist Maddy Winer.
The trio will present a variety of tunes from the Great American Songbook, a canon of the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century, including works by Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin.
“The genre is sort of classified as mainstream jazz and swing, and the tunes and melodies are the most recognizable standards for most audiences,” said Lewis, the guitarist of the trio. “Nothing outside or too modern for general consumption for sure, and suitable for all ages and tastes of music.”
A veteran performer, composer, recording artist and instructor with more than four decades of teaching experience, Lewis is a member of the Bluefield College music faculty who has headlined jazz festivals with industry legends like Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Ellis Marsalis, Lou Rawls, Mundell Lowe, John Pizzarelli and Melissa Manchester. Considered “one of the leading active jazz artists” and named among The Great Jazz Guitarists… The Ultimate Guide, he has also been a featured artist at the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe and the Kennedy Center and has recorded 20 critically acclaimed CDs. In addition, he is currently scheduled for induction into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and is a Heritage Guitar, Benedetto Guitar, Eastman Guitar, Breedlove Guitar, and Redstone Audio performing artist.
“His playing is indicative of the rarified air of true mastery,” said Jim Carlton in his book Conversations with Great Jazz and Studio Guitarists. “He routinely creates engaging with excellent music.”
Bowen, the trio’s bass player, has played and recorded with many jazz artists, including Lewis, Royce Campbell, and Hod and Stephanie Nakasian O’Brien. As an orchestra bassist, he has performed with the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and at The Homestead Resort since 1996. He has also played at The Greenbrier Resort and with the University of Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra, Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, and Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Originally from McLean, Virginia, now living in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bowen also teaches at Bridgewater College.
Hudson, the trio’s drummer, is a professional drummer, educator and clinician living in Charleston, West Virginia, where he performs with the Blue Notes, C2J2, Central Standard Time, Ryan Kennedy Trio, Steve Himes Connection, Stuart Hill Band, Tastes Like Chicken and The Society Pages. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he has also appeared with Lewis, Frank Gambale, Ed Uribe, Mike Richmond, Bob Thompson, and Robert Shafer.
Winer, joining the trio as a special guest vocalist, holds three decades of performance experience. In fact, a native of New York, she performed first at the age of three at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. Since then and following a short stint with contemporary pop music after college, she has become known for her passion for and effortless interpretation and jazz styling of the Great American Songbook. She has recorded and performed with pianist/composer Loonis McGlohon, host of the Peabody award-winning radio series “American Popular Song,” in jazz concerts throughout the eastern United States, including a sold-out performance at the Lincoln Center in New York City. She has also headlined the stage show “North Carolina is My Home” and concerts at the Fontaineblueau Hotel in Miami, Florida, the Saint Louis Symphony, and the Saint Lawrence Centre in Toronto. Among the musicians to open for Winer: Dave Brubeck, Lou Rawls, David Sanborn, George Shearing, Al Jarreau, and Ellis Marsalis. Now living in Asheville, North Carolina, Winer’s latest CD, “Crossroads,” features Lewis, Rick Simerly, Todd Wright, Bill Covington, Tom Hildreth, and River Guerguerian.