“Nous”: Smith / Brown / Plank Three of Ohio's top jazz instrumentalists (saxophonist Howie Smith, pianist Theron Brown, and bassist Aidan Plank) team up to form this spirited & highly creative ensemble in their BLU debut!

Saturday, January 13

A virtuoso saxophonist and composer, Howie Smith does not easily fit into a single category. As a performer he has worked with musicians, organizations and composers as diverse as Lester Bowie, John Cage, the Cleveland Orchestra, Mark Dresser, Iron Toys, Mike Nock, Elvis Presley, Clark Terry, and the Tone Road Ramblers. His recorded performances range from the big bands of Phil Wilson and Frank Mantooth to the Australian quartet Jazz Co/op to saxophone concertos by David Baker, Salvatore Martirano and Edward Miller. He has also presented numerous concerts and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe and Australia.

Aidan Plank has performed in a wide range of musical genres with many musicians. Some performances and collaborations include: Dan Wall, Carol Veto, Joe Maneri, Frankie Avalon, Grease, Chubby Checker, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Jazz Unit. Aidan has performed at Carnagie Hall, Severence Hall, The Knitting Factory, The House of Blues, The Beachland Ballroom, Blossom Music Festival, and other venues throughout the United States.

Akron-based jazz pianist and fan favorite, Theron Brown, was influenced at a young age by Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, & Art Tatum. Brown has played with musicians such as Dan Wilson, Sean Jones, The Huntertones (formerly DW6), The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Bad Plus Band, Chris Coles, The Sam Blakeslee Large Ensemble, Javon Jackson, Snarky Puppy, Donny McCaslin, Peter White, Walter Beasley, Christian McBride, Ken Peplowski, The Admirables, University of Akron Ensembles, Nathan Davis, and Bobby Selvaggio.
If you have heard any of these musicians playing in other ensembles you may have an idea what sort of music is created by Nous . . . and there is a good chance you may be wrong. The repertoire consists of original compositions by all three members of the group, as well as original arrangements of materials gathered from a wide variety of musicians and composers.
There are tentative plans for a recording project sometime in 2018 – come hear this group in their BLU debut, get your tickets now!

8:00 pm


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BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)
Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.