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Joel LaRue Smith Trio

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Join the Joel LaRue Smith Trio for an evening of Jazz standards featuring Joel LaRue Smith, piano, John Lockwood, bass, and Yoron Israel, drums. Advance ticket purchase is recommended as seating is limited. Admission is $20 general/$15 seniors and free for students with ID and 18 and under. 

The concert includes works by Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo, and Cole Porter along with original compositions by Joel LaRue Smith. His music often combines infectious Cuban dance forms such as timba mambo, songo, Mozambique, cha-cha and rhumba with compelling bebop, hard bop and swing melody lines. This music will ignite the passion for anyone to dance, and give each listener great melodies to sing and remember. 

Joel LaRue Smith is a pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator. He has toured extensively, performing Jazz, classical, gospel and Afro Cuban repertoire, throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean. His debut CD, “September’s Child”, features seven original Afro-Cuban Jazz compositions.. His March 2017 CD, “The Motorman’s Son” has been described in Downbeat magazine as “a vibrant, powerful and hard-grooving release”.

He has performed with Tito Puente, Mario Bauza, Kenny Burrell, Tony Bennett, Jerry Gonzalez, Ron Carter, and many more Jazz luminaries. He has been the Director of the Jazz Orchestra & Jazz Studies at Tufts University since 1997.     

Joel is currently giving national and international concert performances, master classes, workshops, and lectures on Jazz and Latin Jazz Piano. His upcoming book on improvisation, Jazz: Then, Now, Tomorrow, is scheduled to be released in September 2022.

Mr. Smith is a 2019 winner of the Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation for his Afro Latin Jazz suite, Pasajes.  He is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council 2017 Artist Fellowship Program Finalist Award in Music Composition, and six Meet the Composer grants, a grand prize winner for the grant in musical composition from the Queens Council for the Arts, and has won the distinguished George and Ira Gershwin Award from ASCAP.

This concert is part of Salem State's 2022 Black History Month programming. Salem State University celebrates Black History Month each year with a variety of events led by faculty, staff, and students that celebrate, honor, and recognize the work and culture of Black people. Please join us and view our full lineup of events.

Attendees are expected to follow Salem State Covid-19 safety protocols.

Members of the Salem State campus community must show a cleared CoVerified badge in order to attend this event.

When 8:30pm
Classroom Building, Central Campus
71 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Recital Hall
Karen A Gahagan

For access and accommodation information, visit our page on access or email

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