Indiana State University Newsroom

John Spicknall's Jazz Piano Trio to perform with saxophonist Sam Fagaly Oct. 2

September 22, 2016

John Spicknall's Jazz Piano Trio will perform with saxophonist Sam Fagaly at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 in the recital hall of Indiana State University's Landini Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

The trio consists of pianist John Spicknall, bassist Joe Deal and drummer Kevin Johnson. These musicians began working on arrangements of "Great American Song Book" repertory and jazz standards more than 10 years ago that continues to grow and develop.

The band has often appeared backing up guest musicians at Indiana State including performances with Bobby Shew, Jim Ketch and Jim Perry. The program features a large span of jazz repertory from the 1920s to the 1970s including "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Moontrane"and "Bluesette" and is free and open to the public.

Featured saxophonist with the trio is Fagaly, director of Jazz Studies at Eastern Illinois University. He conducts the EIU Jazz Ensemble and is professor of saxophone classical and jazz styles. He has performed as a featured soloist with many distinguished jazz artists including J.J. Johnson, Bobby Shew and Sarah Vaughan. Before going to EIU, Fagaly was a member of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West.

Deal is a jazz bass player living and playing in the Indianapolis area over the past 30 years. He has performed with jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Ira
 Sullivan, Bobby Shew, Pat LaBarbera, Phil Wilson, Mike Metheny, Art Blakey pianists James Williams and Geoff Keezer, comedian Rich Little and Spyro Gyra member Dave Samuels. CDs include: the Joe Deal Jazz Trio "Moods," "Red Green and Blues" by Ron Enyard and "I'll Never Stop Loving You" by Harry Miedema with Deep 6.

Drummer Johnson was born in Brooklyn and introduced to the magic of music early by his father, jazz trombonist J.J. Johnson. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1969, but departed a few years later as drummer for the "Miss Black America USO Tour" of Germany.

Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1973, Johnson studied privately with L.A. studio great Joe Porcaro and began doing TV session work on shows such as "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Trapper John M.D." and "Mike Hammer." In addition to being an active part of the Indy jazz scene, Johnson has also been teaching privately for the past several years.

Spicknall retired from Indiana State's School of Music in 2007, where he was involved in woodwind, music education and jazz instruction but continues to teach jazz piano there in an adjunct position.

Spicknall also has held positions at Eastern Illinois and was visiting professor of jazz piano at DePauw University 2006-2012. As clarinetist in the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, he retired after more than 40 years of service. He has been the house pianist at Stables Restaurant for the past 13 years.