“[Johnsrud] and Bales have made a compelling case for Rogers’ songs, which fare remarkably well in the rhythms and cadences of jazz.”
– Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
Aside from the happy coincidence of the timing of the release, Beyond the Neighborhood is a testament to how palatable sophisticated jazz can be.
Atlanta-native and GRAMMY nominated pianist Kevin Bales and Chicago-based vocalist Keri Johnsrud are excited to announce shows at The Rialto Center for The Arts, Atlanta, GA, Good Times Jazz Club, Savannah, GA, The Jazz Corner, Hilton Head Island, SC and Venkman’s, Atlanta, GA. Celebrating the inspiring legacy of Fred Rogers, as portrayed on their latest release Beyond the Neighborhood: The Music of Fred Rogers, Bales and Johnsrud will be joined by Billy Thornton on bass and Marlon Patton on drums. Special guests including guitarist Barry Greene, guitarist Trey Wright, trumpeter Gordon Vernick and Armenian cellist Arpenik will also join the ensemble on selected dates. During this run of shows, the duo will present their uniquely reimagined and rearranged interpretations of Fred Rogers’ array of compositions; Compositions that have been heard by numerous generations on the beloved children’s television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. On the duo’s recent show at Winter’s Jazz Club, Howard Reich at The Chicago Tribune enthused: “When Johnsrud began the evening singing “It’s You I Like,” there was no mistaking the warmth of her instrument, the radiance of her tone or the buoyancy of her approach to swing rhythm. Add to this Bales’ all-over-the-keyboard technique, and you had proof positive that Rogers’ vignettes could carry a great deal of musical weight.”
On Wednesday, November 14th, the pair will kick off this tour at The Rialto Center for The Arts, located at 80 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, GA. This noon-1:00pm performance will be part of The Rialto’s “Feed Your Senses” show series and the performance is free to the public! More information is available here.
On Thursday, November 15th, joined by Thornton and Patton, plus special guest Barry Greene on guitar, the duo will play Good Times Jazz Bar, located at 107 W Broughton Street, Savannah, GA. Downbeat: 7:00pm. Cover charge: $7.00. More information is available here.
This same ensemble will continue their tour at The Jazz Corner, located at 1000 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC with performances on Friday, November 16th and Saturday, November 17th. The group will play at 8pm-11pm on both nights. Tickets are $20 and are available here.
This quartet will bring this tour to a close on Monday, November 19th with an 8pm-10pm performance at Venkman’s, located at 740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA. For this show, special guests Trey Wright on guitar, GSU Head of Jazz Gordon Vernick on trumpet and Armenian cellist Arpenik will join the group. Doors: 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 ($10 with student ID) and are available here.
On Beyond the Neighborhood: The Music of Fred Rogers, released on March 20th – Fred Rogers’ Birthday! – Johnsrud and Bales have succeeded in taking the songs, which up until now were specifically tailored for a child’s ear, and presenting them as reinvented gems that are wise and wistful, simple but not simplistic, and even in some cases, a bit sultry. In this collection, Mister Rogers’ songs not only relate to adults – they seem to have been written for adults in the first place. This project began over two years ago when Johnsrud and Bales discovered that they had a deep mutual love and admiration for Fred Rogers, while having a conversation about children’s programs they used to watch growing up. What a lot of people don’t know is that Fred Rogers composed all of the music heard on his programs (The Children’s Corner, The MisteRogers Show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood). In fact, Kevin’s first introduction to jazz was listening to the music performed live by pianist and musical director Johnny Costa and his trio on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Keri and Kevin wanted to compile a list of songs that may be familiar to some and unfamiliar to others to showcase the depth of Fred’s songwriting talent. The pair also wanted to arrange these tunes in a way that could appeal to all generations, so that families could listen to this music together. The beauty of these compositions lies in the simple messages found in each of his songs (those of self-worth, acceptance, and kindness) and can apply to all, whether young or old. Enjoy this commemorative collection of songs at one of the dates listed below!
|Wed. Nov. 14th||Atlanta, GA||The Rialto Center for The Arts||12:00pm||Tickets/Info|
|Thurs. Nov. 15th||Savannah, GA||Good Times Jazz Bar||7:00pm||Tickets/Info|
|Fri. & Sat. Nov. 16th & 17th||Hilton Head Island, SC||The Jazz Corner||8:00pm||Tickets/ Info|
|Mon. Nov. 19th||Atlanta, GA||Venkman’s||8:00pm||Tickets/ Info|