The Jared Hennings Band will perform Saturday at the Jacoby Arts Center. The band will include Peter Hussey, drums, Marty and Eric Johnson respectively on piano and bass, and Mike Alexander, alto sax.
ALTON – In celebration of Black History Month, the Jared Hennings Band will perform from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Jacoby Arts Center.
The band will include Peter Hussey, drums, Marty and Eric Johnson respectively on piano and bass, and Mike Alexander, alto sax. Hennings said he is looking forward to the opportunity of presenting a sample of music associated with African-Americans.
“We will play a variety of styles and emphasize some specific songwriters covering multiple decades,” he said. “Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, the Temptations and Ray Charles are just some of the performers we will highlight. I really think people will recognize some of the tunes which will heighten their enjoyment of the music.”
Hennings has sung at Jacoby for a couple of past fund-raisers, but this is the second time since 2012 where his band has been featured. He’s had a variety of performing experiences from presenting music history programs for schools in Madison County and St. Louis, touring company member with the St. Louis Black Rep and stage work with the Union Station Entertainment Company, Alton Little Theatre and Vintage Voices. He also has been a soloist with the Alton Muny Band and with Hayner Public Library.
The band accompanying Hennings is a seasoned quartet of musicians which will set the tone – literally and figuratively – for an enjoyable evening.
“The rhythm section is really tight. I met the Johnsons from a performance at the Unitarian Church, so there’s familiarity there. Marty can play anything and provides me a sense of confidence, especially considering the number of songs we’re performing,” he said.
Hussey is an associate music professor of music at Lewis and Clark Community College and is an extraordinary percussionist. He is a music/percussion educator and performer in the St. Louis area. His performance credits include Grammy Award winners Aretha Franklin, Peter Cetera, Arnie Roth and Maria Schneider, the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis, and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. Alexander is the band director at Collinsville Middle School and has been active in various bands throughout the area – as a member of the Sentimental Journey Jazz Band in St. Louis and playing locally with the Howard Neal Jazz Orchestra. He is versatile on alto and tenor sax.
Hennings said having a musician who can add solo parts to various songs will be the difference-maker for the concert.
“The saxophone can act as another voice and will add fullness to the music. Mike, I’m sure, will get plenty of opportunity to demonstrate his versatility at the gig. And when you add Peter, who demonstrates an uncanny feel and continuity for tempo, the technical dexterity of Marty on piano and necessary bottom support of Eric on bass, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to play,” he said.
Jacoby’s doors will open at 6 p.m., and the music begins at 7. Admission costs $12.50 or $10 for seniors and students, and a beverage cash bar is available. Tickets may be purchased at Jacoby Arts Center, Halpin Music, Jerseyville Public Library, Wood River Public Library, or by phone at 618-462-5222. LIVE at Jacoby: Saturday Nights is sponsored in part by WBGZ Radio 1570 AM of Alton.
Located at 627 East Broadway in Alton, Jacoby Arts Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., late on Thursdays until 8 p.m., and closed on Sundays and Mondays. For information, visit www.jacobyartscenter.org or call 618-462-5222.
Jacoby Arts Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the artistic development and economic success of artists, and to expand accessibility to the arts through programs that promote education, participation and exploration.