LA jazz guitar guru to lead Pierce Street performance

On Wed., May 5, Jacques Lesure, a stage and studio guitar player and music educator, will bring his talent and knowledge to La Sierra University’s Alumni Center as he leads the Jacques Lesure Quartet.
On Wed., May 5, Jacques Lesure, a stage and studio guitar player and music educator, will bring his talent and knowledge to La Sierra University’s Alumni Center as he leads the Jacques Lesure Quartet.

May 3, 2010
By Darla Martin Tucker

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( In addition to performing with George Benson, Wynton Marsalis and many other high-profile musicians, guitarist Jacques Lesure loves to teach others about the rich tradition of jazz.

On Wed., May 5, Lesure, a stage and studio guitar player and music educator, will bring his talent and knowledge to La Sierra University’s Alumni Center as he leads the Jacques Lesure Quartet. Three top industry talents will join him in an evening of finger-snapping tunes; drummer Ralph Penland will bring rhythm to life, Eric Reed will showcase his piano playing skills and Hamilton Price will pull it all together on his upright bass.

The event is part of La Sierra’s on-going Pierce Street Jazz concerts which offer the community free jazz by talented, professional players. The periodic concerts kicked off last fall with quartets organized by noted jazz bassist, Henry Franklin. The Jacques Lesure Quartet performance begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. 11500 Pierce St., Riverside. Admission is free. For more information call 951-785-2148. A campus map is at

Lesure, a Los Angeles resident and Detroit native, is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. A seasoned musician on stage and in the studio, he has worked with a long list of performers. He has collaborated in the creation of and performed in a variety of stage plays, movie scores and special projects for television, his biography states. Through his organization, Jacques Lesure Musical Services, he provides lectures, group and individual lessons, music clinics, performances and other services. “[I’m] eager to give back to the community and expose today’s youth to the rich history of jazz …,” Lesure says. He performs at clubs, benefits and events locally and around the world.

Drummer Penland got his musical start at age 15 with the purchase of his first drum set. Two years later, he displayed his burgeoning talent when he performed as a featured percussionist with the Cincinnati Symphony.

Penland’s credits include work on five albums with jazz great Freddie Hubbard and performances with a roster of stars such as Harry Connick Jr., Tito Puente, Branford Marsalis, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans and Sarah Vaughn. His wide-ranging musical experiences include many performances with pop, rock and rhythm and blues acts including The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Jeffrey Osborne, Grover Washington Jr., Stanley Clarke, Kirk Whalum, George Benson and Carlos Santana. He accompanied Frank Sinatra during Sinatra’s year-long “Diamond Jubilee World Tour.”

Penland’s work also appears on soundtracks for the feature films, “Throw Momma From The Train,” “When Harry Met Sally,” Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost,” “Cool World,” “The Russia House,” “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and “Politically Incorrect.”

He spearheaded the popular act, “The Jazz Allstars,” and developed his own music, “The Penland Polygon.” He has been writing, recording, producing and documenting his own musical journey including the making of his album, “To Journey A Dream” featuring Charles Moore, Tony Dumas, Patrice Rushen, Carter Jefferson, Roberta Davis, Bobby McFerrin, Victor Feldman, Dorothy Ashby, Greg Kurstin, Gerald Pinter, Steve Hall, and Wallace Roney. “To Journey A Dream” is available on Polygon Records.

Pianist Reed, a Philadelphia native, cut his musical teeth as a young prodigy and student at music schools in Philly and Los Angeles. His worldwide professional career took off when famed jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis invited Reed to perform with his group on a world tour. Reed played as a regular member of Marsalis’s ensembles between 1990-95, performing on numerous recordings and television appearances.

He has also played as a band member with Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson and worked with such greats as Wayne Shorter, Jessye Norman, Patti Labelle, Edwin Hawkins, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole and numerous others. Eric has recorded over twenty chart-topping, award-winning projects, his biography states.

Reed’s prolific resume includes composing and arranging music for the Eddie Murphy comedy feature film, “Life,” various other independent projects plus commercials and television spots. He also serves as each year as musical conductor for choreographer Alvin Ailey’s classic Revelations with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, under the direction of Judith Jamison. As an educator, Reed served on the faculty of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. He continues to perform worldwide master classes that cover the full spectrum of jazz history and discography, according to his biography.

Reed’s latest recording is entitled “STAND!”, a project that traces his early church music experiences to present day circumstances, according to his Web site. The album references the biblical passage of Ephesians 6:10-18, which advises believers to stand firm and uncompromising in God’s strength.

Bassist Price grew up in Jonesboro, Ark. and later attended the University of Texas, Austin where he studied jazz with John Fremgen and Jeff Hellmer, and classical music with David Neubert.

Price graduated from UT-Austin in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in classical double bass performance with an emphasis in jazz. After playing with Gerry Gibbs’ Thrasher Band in San Antonio for several years, Price moved to Los Angeles to pursue music. He has crafted his talent as a performer with a roster of stars including Wynton Marsalis, Tom Scott, John Abercrombie, Dewey Redman, Peter Eskine, Billy Childs, Ravi Coltrane and many others.

Price lives in Los Angeles with his double bass and a plethora of hot sauces, a biography says.


PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)


  • Last update on  May 03, 2010