SMC to host an evening with the Keith Davis Trio

On Monday evening, January 27th Spartanburg Methodist College will treat  jazz-appreciative audience members with a performance by the Keith Davis Trio. The 7 p.m. concert, free for the community, will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall on the campus of SMC, and is part of the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Make plans to discover America’s original musical art form, learn about the distinct qualities of jazz, and why it’s a reflection of our community, our nation, and our world.  The Trio, composed of Davis, Justin Watt and Ron Brendle, recently released their first CD, entitled “Still.”  The three played their first gig together a couple of years ago, and right away felt that rapport and sense of a shared “inner groove” that gave them the impetus to pursue their musical association.  The music on their CD truly springs from that “inner groove” which can be found within each one of us.

Keith Davis, a distinguished jazz pianist, composer and educator, has been growing his own voice through performing and composing music for the piano for over 30 years. Davis has been featured at the Jazz Festivals of Savannah, Atlanta, Jacksonville and others.

Davis lives in Greenville, SC, where he performs regularly and serves as Adjunct Instructor of Jazz Piano at Furman University. He has toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Matt “Guitar” Murphy (Blues Brothers). He has performed with many notable figures from the jazz world, including David “Fathead” Newman, Pat LaBarbera, Mike Mainieri, Ben Riley, Wycliffe Gordon, Conrad Herwig, Ronnie Cuber, Byron Stripling and Frank Foster. In addition, he was a member of the Teddy Adams Quintet, and studied with respected Atlanta jazz instructor, Ted Howe, as well as classical pianist Steve Hall.

In 1985, Keith attended the Banff Summer Jazz Workshop in Canada, where he studied and played with Dave Liebman, Cecil Taylor, Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, and Dave Holland. During his stay at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he studied privately with renowned saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi.

Justin Watt resides in Asheville, N.C. In addition to playing in the Keith Davis Trio, he is the drummer for the Bill Gerhardt Trio and Like Mind Trio. Justin is also the drummer for the Greenville Jazz Collective, a quintet that features original compositions by the members of the group.  He is also active with several regional theatre groups, and co-curates the “Asheville Original Music Series”, a weekly session held at the Altamont Theatre that features regional composers and their music.  In addition, Justin teaches percussion at the Asheville Music School, and is adjunct percussion instructor at the University of North Carolina Asheville and teaches drum-set at Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

Ron Brendle, a freelance bassist in the Charlotte area since 1981, was recently recognized by Charlotte Magazine as “Best Bassist.” His innovative compositions and improvisational style have also earned seven awards as “Jazz Artist of the Year” by Creative Loafing Magazine. Ron was the recipient of two North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship Grants, which helped to produce his CDs Hypermobility and Photograph. Ron has performed and recorded with many notable jazz artists of international stature, including Nneena Freelon, Clark Terry, Andrew Hill, Charlie Byrd, Charlie Rouse, and Mose Allison. Some recent recordings include projects with Loonis McGlohon, Mike Campbell, and Frank Kimbrough.

Join SMC on Monday, January 27th at 7 p.m. for the Keith Davis Trio.  The free community concert will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall, both of which are handicapped accessible.  The event is open to the public and admission is free of charge.    For additional information, contact Yvonne Harper,, 864-587-4278 or 266-7409.