1pm - Gary Motley Trio
Gary Motley is a pianist, composer, arranger and educator. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and the American Composers Forum. Gary has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland.
Gary began studying the piano as a young child in Alabama and would later be exposed to jazz as a teenager. While attending the University of Montevallo, Gary honed his skills as a jazz pianist, playing with numerous regional bands. It was soon thereafter that he would decide to make music his life’s endeavor. During his career, Gary has established a professional association with many of today’s leaders in jazz. He has worked with artists ranging from Dave Brubeck to Clarke Terry. His recording credits range from his premier CD Peaceful Moments (1994) to his latest recording, Departure (2014).
In 2000, Gary collaborated with actress Debbie Allen and director Kenny Leon for the Alliance Theater’s production of Blues in the Night and the premiere of Soul Possessed. Gary can also be heard on the Debbie Allen-Phylicia Rashad documentary The Old Settler on PBS. He also recorded music with Whoopi Goldberg for the Broadway production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and collaborated with Kenny Leon, providing music for Sean Combs’ 2004 Broadway Production of A Raisin in the Sun.
Notable performances include the premiere of Gary’s first orchestral work entitled The Artist and the Visionary, duo performances with pianists Dave Brubeck and Kenny Baron, concerts with Jon Faddis, Eddie Daniels and Benny Golson. Gary’s recordings include Compassion (2001), The Gary Motley Trio featuring Veronica Tate (2001), Keypers (2004), Everything I Love (2005), Renaissance (2009), Seasoning (2012) and Departure (2014). He is the recipient of Creative Loafing Magazine’s Critics Choice Award for Best Jazz Artist and was selected by the American Composers Forum to serve as an artist-in-residence resulting in his second composition for string orchestra and jazz trio entitled The Resolution of a Dream. Gary’s Highland Summit: A Suite for String Quartet and Jazz Quartet was premiered at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival with the Vega String Quartet in 2006. Motley also performed his work Suite Odyssey with the Vega String Quartet at Carnegie Hall in 2007. He returned to Carnegie Hall in 2008, performing with clarinetists Andy Firth and Buddy DeFranco. In 2010, a composition based on the work of Toni Morrison premiered at the Sixth Biennial Tony Morrison Conference in Paris. Motley’s arranging skills can also be heard on the title track of Jennifer Holiday’s 2014 album The Song Is You.
Other engagements include the 2014 National Black Arts Festival salute to Wynton Marsalis with Marcus Belgrave and the Annual Emory University Jazz Festival with violinist Regina Carter (2015), Anat Cohen (2016) with bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Carl Allen. Gary recently returned from Colombia, South America where he participated in a jazz education outreach initiative for the Centro Colombo Americano and also traveled to Havana, Cuba with the Victor Goines Sextet as a part of the Horns to Havana Education Exchange Project.
In addition to his work as an artist, Gary is committed to jazz education and awareness. As Professor of Performance and Director of Jazz Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Gary has developed the Robert Strickland Jazz Studio-an innovative interactive teaching facility that integrates the rich heritage of American jazz with today’s technology practices. Gary is also a member of the Jazz Education Network and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
2pm - Georgia Collegiate Jazz Collective
The Georgia Collegiate Jazz Collective features musicians and educators from Georgia and Alabama. Collectively they feature decades of experience teaching and performing throughout the United States and internationally. Their members are: Dr. Dan Kolan – Andrew College; Dr. Kevin Whalen – Columbus State University; Dr. Paul Vaillancourt – Columbus State University; Dr. Matthew Roehrich – Valdosta State University; Dr. Andy Nevala – Jacksonville State University; and Chris Enghauser – Georgia College/Jacksonville State University.
As jazz and commercial artists, the members of the Georgia Collegiate Jazz Collective have performed with numerous jazz and commercial visionaries such as Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, James Carter, Marcus Roberts, John Fedchock, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, and many more.
As educators, their students have gone on to participate in national competitions and conferences such as the National Trumpet Competition, PASIC, International Trombone Festival, and to attend prestigious schools throughout the United States such as the University of Missouri-Kansas City, The University of Alabama, Columubs State University and many more. As recording artists, the members have released projects as leaders and have been featured on recordings by artists such as the Dan Gailey Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, STRIKE and others.
3pm - Emmanuel "Chops" Smith Quartet
Emmanuel “Chops” Smith is a classical, jazz, and contem porary pianist and vocalist residing in Atlanta, GA. Chops has performed in venues all over the Southeast including The Rialto Center of the Performing Arts, the Margaret Mitchell House, The Georgian Terrace hotel, The Georgia Aquarium, Churchill Grounds, The Velvet Note, and The Red Clay Theater. He has also had the pleasure and privilege to perform with Russell Malone, Chris Potter, Sarah Partride and work with many different jazz personalities including Gary and Veronica Motley, Theresa Hightower, Mike Avene, Bobby Shew, Paquito D’Rivera, Kenny Werner, Bob Franceschini, Bob Reynolds and Randy Brecker.
After receiving his Jazz Studies degree from Georgia State University, Chops is currently serving as Music Director for North Decatur United Methodist Church and Faith Forward Church. He prides himself as a pianist that crosses multiple genres. Including the churches he works with on a regular basis, he travels throughout the Southeast United States and performs in bands based out of Atlanta, GA including the Nick Longo Band, Artimus, and Big Bling and the Funk Machine (Music Gardens). He continues to build a reputation as a bandleader with his two bands, The CHOPS Experience and the Emmanuel “Chops” Smith Trio.
Chops released his debut jazz album, CHOPS on November 20.