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08/18/2014 | Music | Created by Darla Martin Tucker

As a young boy in West Texas, jazz and blues guitarist John Payne liked what he heard in the region’s fiddle and guitar music and the western swing sounds of Hoyle Nix.

Blues guitarist John Payne with bass player Henry Franklin, background.

A seed was planted and Payne took to the guitar, later studying jazz with Bob Brown in Albuquerque, N.M. While there, he took on a strong influence of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, and Kenny Burrell. The blues talents of greats like Long John Hunter and others were also there mixed in with the hints of swing.

On Wed., Aug. 20, Payne will bring his love of jazz and blues and his talent to the stage, leading the John Payne Quartet in La Sierra University’s latest Pierce Street Jazz concert.

The show begins at 7 p.m. and will take place at the Troesh Conference Center of La Sierra’s Zapara School of Business. Admission is free. Payne’s band will feature Theo Saunders on piano, Ramon Banda on drums and Henry “the Skipper” Franklin on bass.

Payne spent several years in El Paso, Texas, and for the past 27 years has been in Santa Barbara where he divides his time between playing and teaching. He has played with Randy Tico, Bob Ledner, Lorca Hart and many others.

Saunders, Banda and Franklin have all performed and recorded with many famed acts of the jazz and pop industries including Freddie Hubbard, David “Fathead” Newman, Barbara Morrison, Gladys Knight, Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Milt Jackson, Hugh Masekala, Poncho Sanchez, Dizzie Gillespie, Tito Puente, Chick Corea and many others.

For more information about Pierce Street Jazz call 951-785-2148. La Sierra University is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside. A campus map is available at