July 18, 2011
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Jazz and blues guitarist John Payne will take to the stage July 20, 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 La Sierra’s Alumni Center, 11500 Pierce St., Riverside. Admission is free. Payne’s band will feature Theo Saunders on piano, Ramon Banda on drums and Henry Franklin on upright bass.
For more information call 951-785-2148. A campus map is at http://www.lasierra.edu/resources/campusmap/. The event is part of La Sierra’s on-going Pierce Street Jazz concerts which offer the community free jazz by professional players with long careers performing on stage and in the studio.
Payne’s early years were spent in West Texas listening to the area’s fiddle and guitar music with the western swing sounds of Hoyle Nix. As he studied jazz with Bob Brown in Albuquerque, N.M. he took on a strong influence of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, and Kenny Burrell. The blues of greats like Long John Hunter and others were also there mixed in with the hints of swing.
Payne spent several years in El Paso, Texas, and for the past 25 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 has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals and concert halls with distinguished artists including Carla Bley, David “Fathead” Newman, Barbara Morrison, Charles Lloyd, Claudio Roditi, Victor Brasil, Raul De Souza, Bobby Rodriguez, Gladys Knight, the Four Tops and many others.
He has directed music for opera productions and international musical theatre. As a composer, Saunders has numerous compositions to his credit as well as original scores for theatre, radio and multimedia production. Artists Franklin, Ray Armando, Benn Clatworthy, Bobby Matos, and Bruce Paulson have recorded his compositions.
Bassist Franklin, known in music circles as the Skipper, organizes the Pierce Street Jazz concerts for La Sierra. He has performed on more than 150 albums and compact discs including gold releases since 1970, many of which he produced. In March he released his 24th album, “Soul of the World,” recorded with his band. His band’s 2009 album, “Home Cookin’,” recorded on Franklin’s SP Records label, features the renowned Barbara Morrison on vocals. The project received airplay on KJAZZ 88.1 FM.
Franklin has played his upright bass with numerous jazz and pop greats including Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Count Basie, Freddie Hubbard and Milt Jackson, and was part of the legendary Hugh Masekela’s band during the late 1960s. When not on tour in various parts of the United States and the world, Franklin performs at The Historic Mission Inn in Riverside, Calif.
Drummer Banda grew up in Norwalk, Calif., part of a large musical family. When Banda was a boy, the family performance group, The Latin Boys, played at parties and weddings around Southern California. Banda started out on the guitar but switched to drums in 1967 when his cousin Mike Chavarria Jr. was called to serve in Vietnam. Banda and his electric bass-playing brother, Tony Banda, performed weekend gigs during their grade school years with several bands including with the Grammy award-winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. Banda performed with Sanchez’s group for 24 years.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University