Herlin Riley, Eric Struthers and Joe Ashlar 8-9:15PM - $10 Adv & Day of Show
Time & Location
About The Event
Advance Tickets $10 Day of Show $10
Since coming of age in the nurturing environment of a very musical family and a distinguished bloodline of drummers, New Orleans native Herlin Riley emerged from that most creative era of all things rhythmic in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, to enliven the ensembles of such influential and demanding improvisers as pianist Ahmad Jamal and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis through his commanding yet elegant rhythmic presence.
His authoritative style of melodic percussion is deeply imbued in the fertile creative soil of the Crescent City, encompassing as it does the entire length and breadth of America’s ongoing musical journey.
Now with the release of his debut recording for Mack Avenue Records, Riley’s New Direction is an engaging, wide-ranging recital that distills a lifetime of experience into a swinging body of new music that defines what a big tent the music of New Orleans has always represented stylistically and spiritually.
“You see,” Riley explains, “New Direction reflects a personal transition from being a musical associate with the likes of Ahmad and Wynton, to functioning in a leadership capacity, both as a bandleader and a composer. Like Art Blakey, I’m trying to maintain a certain exuberance by using all younger musicians, while helping them develop their own voices. So many great musicians and drummers have come out of New Orleans, and that really defines my personal legacy; I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. But I’ve been playing drums since I was three years old, so while the title New Direction may suggest new bottles, this is surely some well-aged wine.
“As a boy growing up in New Orleans, way before you heard that big bass drum in the street parades, you could feel it coming from four or five blocks away, and it would literally beckon you to come on down to the street, check out this music, and participate in it. On ‘Connection to Congo Square’ I quote the ‘Reveille’ in my intro. It reflects the melodic nature of how I tune my tom toms and is also a symbolic call to arms, for all the cats from the different neighborhoods to gather ‘round and participate in this celebration, this collective dialog. In everything I play, there’s some reference from my own personal experience, and while it may not be explicit, it’s all underneath there somewhere.”
Best known for his long career as the guitarist for the Neville Brothers band, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Eric Struthers has played and recorded with some of the most celebrated artists in American music, including Michael McDonald, Jimmy Buffett, Béla Fleck, Kenny Rogers, Steve Miller, Joan Baez and Linda Ronstadt—to name just a few. As this list indicates, Eric's skills on guitar cross multiple genre boundaries and have led to him being an in-demand player for Country, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Reggae and R&B, both on the road and in the studio. A longtime touring musician as well, Eric has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno, The Arsenio Hall Show, Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, 48 Hours, CMT's Prime Time Country, as well as numerous Canadian, European and Japanese television specials. If that wasn’t enough, he's also played on feature films like Money Train (Sony Pictures) and Things To Do In Denver (Miramax Films).
When not touring or recording in the studio, Eric stays involved in a variety of educational endeavors. A regular instructor at Victor Wooten's music camps in Nashville, TN, Eric demonstrates his passion for passing on the knowledge and insight he's gained through his years of experience by offering a variety of master classes on guitar and performance to students from around the world. He also regularly accompanies legendary bassist and performer Chuck Rainey (Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, etc.) via his Rhythm Intensive workshops. Indeed, Eric's rhythmic sensibility makes him a favorite guitarist among bass players and drummers in and out of Nashville and often leads to him being asked to join them on stage in impromptu settings.
With over 25 mainstream albums to his credit, Eric continues to demonstrate that he is a musician first—the electric guitar is merely his main way of expressing his creativity. His dedication to first and foremost “serving the song” through his instrument explains part of the reason Eric remains a highly sought after musician; the high level of skill which he possesses explains the rest. Presently, Eric is finishing up a soon-to-be-released solo album that features a host of amazing and renowned musicians, and he looks forward to hitting the road in support of it soon after.
- Jazzfest Series @ The Leaf$10$100$0