Jazz Great Dr. Lonnie Smith to Make Segerstrom Center Debut, 2/21-22

Related: Lonnie Smith, Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes jazz master Dr. Lonnie Smith in his Center debut on February 21 and 22 in Samueli Theater. He will be joined by guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. Musician, composer, performer and recording artist, the Doctor is a guru of the Hammond B-3 organ. With a career that spans more than five decades, he is affectionately dubbed "The Turbanator" and has been featured on more than 70 albums and has performed with some of the best in the music industry. Today, a new generation of audiences and music makers are happily discovering and sampling his innovative and boundless grooves.

Tickets for Dr. Lonnie Smith start at $49 and are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The TTY number is (714) 556- 2746.

Dr. Lonnie Smith has recorded and performed with a virtual "Who's Who" of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B musicians. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a "Legend," a "Living Musical Icon," and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times magazine describes him as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!" Always ahead of the curve, it is no surprise his fan- base is truly worldwide.

From an early age he was immersed in gospel, blues and jazz and had a gift for music. In his teens, he sang in several vocal groups including his own - The Supremes - formed long before Motown's eventual iconic act of the same name. Smith also played trumpet and other instruments at school and was a featured soloist. In the late '50s, with the encouragement of Art Kubera, who owned a local music store that he would visit daily, young Smith was given the opportunity to learn how to play a Hammond organ. By completely immersing himself in the records of organists such as Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, as well as paying rapt attention to the church organ, he began to find his musical voice.

Dr. Smith has been amused to find himself sampled in rap, dance and house grooves while being credited as a forefather of acid jazz. When questioned about his consistent interest in music some consider outside the jazz "mainstream," Smith shrugs. "Jazz is American Classical," he proclaims. "And this music is a reflection of what's happening at the time...The organ is like the sunlight, rain and thunder...it's all the worldly sounds to me!"

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is unique as both an acclaimed arts institution and as a multi- disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages, offering unsurpassed experiences, and engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring programs.

Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center traces its roots back to the late 1960s when a dedicated group of community leaders decided Orange County should have its own world-class performing arts venue.

More On: Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jonathan Kreisberg, Town Center, The Supremes, Bill Davis, Jimmy Smith, Henry Segerstrom.

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