Nashville Studio Cats: Featured Class
Tuesday, April 19
Nashville Jazz Workshop
1319 Adams Street
Featured class for April 18 session -- "Nashville Studio Cats: The Great Keyboardists"
The "Nashville Cats" series of classes are some of the coolest we've ever offered at the Jazz Workshop. So far we've done guitarists, bassists, and drummers, and this time around we're featuring keyboard players. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get inside the heads of some of Nashville's most amazing session players. You don't have to be a player to enjoy this class -- it's open to anyone!
You may never have heard of some of these keyboard players, but you've heard their recordings. They also reflect the breadth and versatility of Nashville's world-class musicians.
For instance . . . Bill Pursell is both a revered session player and a longtime Belmont University Professor. He's been a Nashville "cat" since the 60's and has recorded with some of the biggest names in the business, including Chet Atkins, Boots Randolph, Patsy Cline, and Eddy Arnold. That's his keyboard on Randolph's "Yakety Sax" and Cline's "Sweet Dreams". He is also the pianist on Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." Pursell is a 2-time grammy award nominee and the TN Music Teacher's Association 1985 Composer of the Year. His "Heritage Symphony" was given a world premiere performance by the Nashville Symphony. You can read more about him here and here.
Pat Coil is well known in the NJW community as a world-class jazz pianist, having worked with Carmen McRae, Woody Herman, and many others. What you may not know is his multi-faceted career as a studio player, arranger, and composer across the entire musical spectrum. A member of Michael McDonald's band, he has also worked with Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Trisha Yearwood, Natalie Cole, and many many others. Read about Pat at patcoil.com.
Jeff Taylor is a wizard on both accordian and piano. He is best known and loved as a member of the amazing Time Jumpers, but he's also a wonderful piano player who records with some of the town's most prominent artists. His recording credits include Amy Grant, George Strait, the Cheiftains, Martina McBride, and Vince Gill, just to name a few. He was a featured artist on the Ricky Scagg's and Kentucky Thunder Instrumental CD that won a 2007 Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Album.
Shane Kiester moved to Nashville in 1972 and quickly established himself as a capable and well-rounded studio musician. His career in studio work and film scoring flourished, and in 1989, at the request of the late Ahmet Ertegun, Keister moved to New York to work for him as a staff producer/arranger at Atlantic Records. Keister worked extensively with Ertegun until 2000 when he decided to resume his career independently. He continues to do studio work today, as a Pianist/synthesist and as a producer/arranger. He has worked with a long list of musicians over the years, including Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Lou Marini; he was part of the album The Players which won a Dove award for Instrumental Album of the Year in 1997.
John Hobbs is remarkably accomplished. Not only did he produce Vince Gill's Grammy Award-winning These Days album, he has recorded keyboards on a staggering number of albums in his 30+ years in the business. His 7-page long online discography includes artists as diverse as pop stars Donny Osmond ("Donny and Marie") and Olivia Newtown-John ("Physical"), to blues master B.B. King, to countless country stars like George Jones, Kenny Rogers, and Loretta Lynn. His wealth of knowledge would make just his class alone well worth the price of admission for anyone interested in an in-depth insider's look at Music Row.
Your host for the series, as well as one of the featured artists, is no stranger to Jazz Workshop patrons. Beegie Adair is a Nashville treasure and sits on the NJW Board of Directors. Not only is she a brilliant live performer . . . not only is she an international hit, with 3 records on the Japanese top 10 - and that country's #1 selling jazz album of 2010. . . but Beegie is also a veteran Nashville session player. She was the house pianist for the Johnny Cash show (1969-71) as well as for WSM-TV. She also hosted her own radio show "Improvised Thoughts," on which she interviewed jazz luminaries such as Tony Bennett, Benny Golson, Joe Williams, and more.