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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node

  • Dr. Lonnie Smith is shown in a close-up photo smiling.
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith is shown from the side wearing an orange turban.

Dr. Lonnie Smith’s
“In the Beginning” Octet

7:30 pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

The doctor’s in! Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer, and recording artist. A master of the Hammond B-3 organ for more than five decades, he’s been featured on seventy-plus albums and recorded and performed with many of the greatest jazz, blues, and R&B musicians of his time. A native of Buffalo, New York, Smith first gained wide recognition as a member of guitarist George Benson’s quartet. He made his first album as a leader — Finger Lickin’ Good — for Columbia Records in 1966. From there he recorded several epic Blue Note albums, including the million-seller Alligator Boogaloo, with saxophonist Lou Donaldson. Blue Note soon inked Smith to his own contract, a deal that would produce the soul jazz classics Think!, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, Drives, and Live at Club Mozambique. Smith’s famous for his insatiable musical taste. Employing ensembles ranging from a trio to a big band, he’s recorded covers of music by the Beatles, the Stylistics, and the Eurythmics, plus tribute albums to Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, and Beck. Smith’s Schwab Auditorium concert finds him leading an electrifying eight-piece band replete with horns and an extended rhythm section. The performance features music from the octet's new double-CD release, which includes reimagined versions of songs Smith origianallly released in the first decade of his recording career. Discover for yourself why a JazzTimes writer describes the doctor as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban.”

Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Schwab.

Adult $42
University Park Student $15
18 and Younger $32

Create your own Choice series — and receive a 10-percent discount — by purchasing together tickets to four or more Center for the Performing Arts presentations.

Program Notes: 
Artist Websites: 

Secondary Events on Each Event

Artistic Viewpoints

6:30 pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

Schwab Auditorium

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith and his saxophonist bandmate Ian Hendrickson-Smith, is offered in Schwab one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.