Wednesday, April 3
Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA, 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, April 4
Overlook Village Retirement Community, 941 Sixth Street Drive, Moline IL, 3 p.m.
The Redstone Room, 129 Main Street Davenport IA, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 5
Hauberg Civic Center Mansion, 1300 24th Street, Rock Island IL, 6 p.m.
Delivering what All About Jazz calls “a definite fresh sound by a guy who should be in everyone's playlist,” pianist Josh Nelson and his outfit the Josh Nelson Trio present a public concert at Davenport's Redstone Room on April 4 and three additional area performances April 3 through 5, treating music lovers to the talents of an artist who, according to Jazz Times, “distinguishes himself as a first-rate player and composer with a fresh, wholly personal take on the music.”
Born and raised in Southern California, pianist/composer/bandleader Nelson has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, John Clayton, and Jeff Hamilton. Nelson also toured with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole for six years and continues to tour with vocalists Gaby Moreno, Freda Payne, Alicia Olatuja, Sara Gazarek, accordionist Richard Galliano, saxophonist Tom Scott, multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and violinist Christian Howes. He taught jazz for four years at Soka University and, more recently, at Cal State University Northridge, and in 2006, Nelson was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
His debut album as a bandleader, 2004’s Anticipation, garnered significant critical attention and led to his 2007 followup Let it Go, which was hailed by Jazz Times, All About Jazz, and Jazz Review as a fully-realized breakthrough. Nelson’s next album, 2009’s I Hear a Rhapsody, had him re-imagining Jerry Goldsmith’s “Theme From Chinatown,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Here’s That Rainy Day” and Elliott Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me” while contributing seven affecting originals. Meanwhile, with 2011’s Discoveries, Nelson introduced his Discovery Project – an immersive multi-media presentation combining video, performance art, and light and art installations with his original music. That sci-fi-influenced work was complemented by 2015's Exploring Mars, and in 2017's The Sky Remains, the Josh Nelson Trio delved into musical stories and themes stemming from Nelson's hometown of Los Angeles, resulting in an album that All About Jazz deemed “more than enough to keep the mind and emotions busy and happy.”
In addition to the ensemble's April 5 public performance at the Redstone Room, the Josh Nelson Trio will play abbreviated versions of the concert in three other Quad Cities venues: in the lobby of Davenport's Figge Art Museum at 10:30 a.m. on April 3; at Moline's Overlook Village Retirement Community at 3 p.m. on April 4; and at Rock Island's Hauberg Civic Center Mansion at 6 p.m. on April 5. Tickets to the Redstone Room concert are $5-10, admission to the abbreviated performances is free, and more information on the group and the Visiting Artist Series is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.