This double bill connects a B-3 master and elder statesman of jazz with one of the most exciting young piano trios in the idiom. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 for more than five decades, Dr. Lonnie Smith is a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master who is still progressing as an artist at age 73. Due to his wide-ranging musical taste, Dr. Lonnie Smith has covered everything from John Coltrane to Jimi Hendrix to Beck, with interpretations involving foot-tapping grooves, sophisticated harmonic voicings and indelible melodicism. His trio includes guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. JazzTimes recently wrote: “Just when you think you’ve heard everything that organ jazz has to offer, Dr. Lonnie Smith evolves.”
A native of New Orleans, Sullivan Fortner was praised as a virtuoso jazz pianist well before he finished high school. He won the 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association, as well as the 2016 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, and has spent recent years playing with jazz artists as varied as Cécile McLorin Salvant, Fred Hersch and Roy Hargrove, among many others. This solo performance—one of six appearances in his debut season at SMF—highlights Sullivan Fortner’s musical versatility and knowledge of jazz piano across the ages.