John Bryant – Ed Smith Quartet
Location – Recital Hall on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
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John Bryant is a drummer, percussionist, composer, and music producer residing and working in Dallas, Texas. Originally from Virginia, he moved to Dallas and majored in music at the University of North Texas, where he performed and recorded with the One O’Clock Lab Band. He has recorded and/or performed with numerous artists including Ray Charles, Delbert McClinton, Joe Walsh, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Doc Severinsen. Bryant has played, composed, and produced music for many different types of projects that include regional artists, touring shows, major motion pictures, and documentary films for PBS and National Geographic.
He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Drumset Studies and Music Production at Southern Methodist University. He has lectured and given Master Classes at universities across the country and in Hong Kong, and has performed with the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Cleveland, Atlanta, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Portland, and New Haven.
In early 1974, Bryant joined the acclaimed world music group Paul Winter Consort, playing drums and percussion. Based out of New York City, he toured extensively throughout the country doing concerts and university clinics; he also recorded with the Consort and Paul Stookey in New York, working with producer Phil Ramone. In 1975 Bryant moved to Los Angeles to join Ray Charles. He toured for two years throughout North America and Europe, playing TV shows and concerts in addition to recording three albums with him. He continued to work with Ray Charles from 1995 to 2001.
Bryant is a founding member of the world music percussion group D’Drum and acted as producer of the group’s collaboration with composer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Stewart Copeland and the Dallas Symphony on the world premiere of Gamelan D’Drum, a three-movement concerto commissioned for D’Drum. He also produced and directed the feature documentary about the experience, Dare To Drum.
Bryant has recorded across the country in some of the most important recording studios pivotal to the history of American popular music. These include A & R / Columbia Studios in New York with Phil Ramone, RPM Studios with Ray Charles, and Sound Castle Studios in Los Angeles, Criteria Studios in Miami, The Automatt in San Francisco, Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ardent Recording in Memphis, Arlyn Studios in Austin, and most every recording studio in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Ed Smith’s music career as a jazz vibraphonist and percussionist spans four decades. He has performed with distinguished artists such as John Cage, Phil Wilson, Louie Bellson, Johnny Mathis, Ed Soph, Glen Velez, Trichy Sankaran, Hands On’Semble and many others. In 2009 Smith was endorsed by the instrument manufacture Malletech and introduced their revolutionary vibraphone to Europe at the Italian Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion” in Fermo, Italy. In April 2010 he performed on it at Juilliard, Rutgers, and William Paterson University. Smith performed a solo vibraphone concert at the 2012 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). Malletech also manufactures Smith’s signature vibe mallets.
In 1992, Smith helped form the internationally recognized world percussion group D’Drum, which recorded the soundtrack for the National Geographic film Lions of Darkness and performed in Hong Kong as part of the Chinese modern presentation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. A PBS short film about the group and their world travels won an Emmy in 1999. D’Drum has been a featured concert act at PASIC. They have two CDs, Village Besides Time and Within You, Without You. As a member of D’Drum, Smith recently collaborated with Stewart Copeland, drummer/co-founder of The Police, on a world music concerto called Gamelan D’Drum. The world premiere with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in February 2011 received rave reviews. They performed it again with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2012.
Smith began traveling to Bali, Indonesia in 1995 to study the music of wayang kulit (shadow puppet play) on the gamelan gender wayang. While in Bali in 1998, he was awarded the high honor of performing on the gender wayang with his teacher, Ketut Madri, in a temple celebration. Since 2002 Smith has also been studying the repertoire of the large Balinese gamelan, gong kebyar, with Nyoman Wenten and Wayan Sudirana.
Jason Bucklin’s rare and powerful blend of expressiveness, virtuosity, and passion in an extremely wide range of styles has made its mark on the Dallas music scene for over 30 years. He has performed with groups of many genres including Bill Tillman, Eric Tagg, Cafe Noir, and jazz artists such as Joe McBride, James Clay, Marchel Ivery, and Shelley Carroll. He is also one of Dallas’ most recorded guitarists, appearing on hundreds of regional and national commercials, and independent CD-releases. Jason Bucklin is equally at home on electric or acoustic guitars, as well as the electric bass, and has performed regularly with numerous pop-cover bands and country-music artists.
Bassist and composer Lyles West has been active on the Texas jazz scene since the early 1990’s.
A self- taught bassist, West grew up in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and moved to New York City in the early ‘80’s to play with pianist and college room-mate Frank Kimbrough. During these years, West played regularly with jazz great Junior Cook and blues giant Charles Brown. He then spent 6 years in Miami FL playing with tenor/trumpet player Ira Sullivan and performed in jazz festivals through South Florida, with names such as Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, Randy Brecker, and Larry Coryell.
After moving to Dallas TX in 1990, West played with recorded with the late “Texas Tenor” sax player Marchel Ivery from 1993 to his unexpected passing in 2007. From 1991 to 2003, Lyles also composed, played, and recorded with acclaimed world music band Café Noir. With his own Quartet Out and the Lyles West Quartet, he has performed and recorded many original jazz compositions.