Jazz hero Lonnie Liston Smith to play at Hampton University tonight, April 6

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Lonnie Liston Smith, the influential jazz keyboardist and singer whose music crosses many boundaries, will perform tonight, April 6, at Hampton University's Ogden Hall.

Smith, a Richmond native, is known mostly as a band leader whose funky 1970s recordings helped pave the way for many modern contemporary jazz sounds. As a sideman, he also played with Pharoah Sanders, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gato Barbieri, singer Betty Carter, and trumpeter Miles Davis, according to AllMusic.com. Also, his recordings have served as building blocks for many modern hip-hop tracks.

Lonnie Liston Smith and Cosmic Echoes will perform 8 p.m. at Ogden Hall on the Hampton University campus. Admission is $25 general, $15 students. Tickets are available online through ticketmaster.com and by calling the HU Convocation Center box office at (757) 728-6800.

Here's a press release about the concert:

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Hampton, Va. - Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes will be coming to town on April 6. The concert, hosted by the Hampton University Musical Arts Society begins at 8 p.m. at HU’s Ogden Hall.

Smith is one of contemporary music's most versatile musicians. Fusing jazz, soul, and funk music, Smith has influenced a generation of young artists. Since the 1970s, he has played alongside leaders such as Miles Davis and Pharoah Sanders before founding his own band, the Cosmic Echoes.

In 1974, Smith was signed to a solo recording contract.  “Astral Traveling” and “Cosmic Funk” were Smith’s first two CDs.  However, it was his album, “Expansions” that broke him into the major leagues as a worldwide leader in fusion music.

In the 90s, Smith was discovered by an all-new young audience with “Guru Jazzmataz Volume One” (rap meets jazz).  Smith also has had two hit singles withMary J. Bligeand Jay-Z.Mary J. Bligesampled Smith’s composition “A Garden of Peace” in her Grammy winning single, “Take Me As I Am” andJay -Zalso sampled, “A Garden of Peace” in his hit sample, “Dead Presidents”.

Smith is looking forward to his performance at Hampton University. “I have a hot, new, young band and we will put on a great concert,” he said.

While earning a B.S. in music education at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., Smith joined Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and also became a member of, music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

General admission is $25; student admission is $15 with a valid ID.

Tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com, or through the HU Convocation Center box office (757) 728-6800.

For more information visit mas.hamptonu.edu.

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