NEWPORT, Ark. (9-16-2014) — The 2014-15 Arkansas State University-Newport Concert/Lecture Series will get underway Tuesday, Oct. 21 when the United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors take the stage at the ASU-Newport Center for the Arts.
The Jazz Ambassadors is the official touring big band of the United States Army. Formed in 1969, this 19-member ensemble has received great acclaim, both at home and abroad performing America’s greatest original art form, jazz.
Concerts by the Jazz Ambassadors are programmed to entertain all types of audiences and feature Chief Warrant Officer William S. McCulloch as the Director and Master Sergeant Marva Lewis as the lead vocalist. The band’s diverse repertoire includes contemporary jazz, big band swing, Latin, bebop, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals and patriotic selections, many of which were written or arranged by members of the Jazz Ambassadors.
Like all of ASU-Newport’s Concert/Lecture events, admission to the Jazz Ambassadors concert is free, but the performance is a ticketed event. Advance tickets may be obtained by visiting the ASU-Newport Business Office on the Newport campus, or by downloading them online at www.
Also on the Concert/Lecture Series schedule is a Tuesday, March 3, 2015 performance of The Rhodes Show. The Rhodes Show covers a broad spectrum of musical genres, including classic and modern country, Memphis R & B, covers of the top hits from the 50’s, 60′ and 70’s and original songs written by the band that you’ll recognize the instant you hear them.
Just before the Great Depression, James K. Polk Rhodes began the task of crafting musical instruments for his children. He made an acoustic guitar, 2 upright basses, a banjo and a handful of fiddles. He called his young children in from outside and led them to the bedroom where he had carefully laid all the instruments on the bed. Once assembled, he simply told them to choose an instrument and that if they learned to play it, it was theirs.
That’s how Slim, Speck, Dusty and Beatrice began The Rhodes Show, a musical legacy that has run through generations and continues today. Since that time, the family has made music with Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, Loretta Lynn, Sam and Dave, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, Al Green, Roy Rogers, The Bee Gees, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, The Commodores, The Monkees, Brenda Lee, Isaac Hayes, Dolly Parton, John Mellencamp, KC and the Sunshine Band, Conway Twitty, Chet Atkins, Craig Morgan, Clint Black, Donny and Marie Osmond and many more.
The Rhodes Show continues today with Sandra and Donna Rhodes, daughters of Dot and Dusty Rhodes, Brenda “Bear” Barnett, who joined the family show in 1980 as bassist and singer, and Craig Morris.
Craig and Donna met and sang harmony together on The Nashville Network’s Nashville Now Country Variety Show, hosted by Ralph Emery. They were married in 1991. Craig has toured with acts from Donny and Marie Osmond to Dobie Gray and has written songs for Ray Charles, Reba McEntire, Gene Watson, The Oak Ridge Boys and Craig Morgan. Craig currently tours with Loretta Lynn and the Coal Miners, playing piano and singing background vocals.
All of ASUN’s Concert/Lecture Series events are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Admission to all events is free and the public is invited.