Hickory – Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Associate in Fine Arts – Music Program will host the Performing Artist Concert Series this spring with several featured events that are free and open to all students and the general public.

Following is a schedule of events and additional details.

On Thursday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. in the CCC&TI Recital Hall (B-100), CCC&TI’s Caldwell Campus in Hudson will host jazz piano and guitar combo Chris Beyt and Pavel Wlosok.

Dr. Chris Beyt is a jazz guitarist, bassist, composer, recording engineer, and educator living in Western North Carolina. His most recent album of original compositions “120” is available on iTunes and Amazon.

LRU Jazz Ensemble

Beyt grew up in Baton Rouge, La. where he learned the trombone, and later switched to guitar. In 1999, he received music and academic scholarships to Loyola University in New Orleans where he studied with John Eubanks and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. During that time and for two years afterwards, he performed in New Orleans at various venues on both guitar and electric bass. In 2005, he moved to Denton, Texas where he studied guitar with Fred Hamilton and began his studies on upright bass, on which he has since been performing in addition to guitar. Chris earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas in 2008. Immediately following, he moved to Champaign, Ill. where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied with Larry Gray, Chip Stephens, and Chip McNeill.

Czech born American pianist, composer, arranger, educator, music engineer, producer, and photographer Pavel Wlosok started to play the piano when he was five years old. He received his classical education in piano performance and composition at the Janacek Conservatory of Music in OSTRAVA. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in jazz studies graduating cum laude at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas (1995 – 2000), where he studied composition with Prof. Cindy McTee, jazz piano with Prof. Dan Haerle and classical piano with Prof. Adam Wodnicki.

While at UNT, Wlosok served as pianist-arranger for the One O’clock Lab Band (his work is included on 4 CDs produced by this group, the last one featuring Canadian ECM artist Kenny Wheeler) and as teaching assistant of aural skills, music theory, and jazz piano before directing the Four O’clock Lab Band in his last year of studies. He was also featured as a soloist with the UNT Wind Symphony (CD “Luminaries” under the direction of Eugene Corporon), and has toured Europe and North America as a pianist and composer. His first self-produced album as a leader is titled Long Journey (1997), and features his best friends from early North Texas years, such as saxophonists Tyler Kuebler and Wayne Delano, bassist Mike McGuirk, drummers Ed Soph and Rich Matschulat, and trumpeter Scott Harrell.

On Monday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. in the CCC&TI Recital Hall (B-100), CCC&TI’s Caldwell Campus in Hudson will host local favorite Strictly Clean and Decent.

Strictly Clean and Decent

Strictly Clean and Decent is an acoustic trio that features Patrick Crouch, Ron Shuffler, and Kay Crouch whose blend of brilliant vocal harmonies tops a solid instrumental foundation. They are dedicated to performing a variety of musical styles in an acoustic setting. Their eclectic repertoire includes modern folk songs by American, Canadian, and Irish songwriters, the fiery breakdowns and songs of family and home found in both traditional and contemporary bluegrass settings, and centuries-old Celtic airs and dance tunes. All of this is peppered with a healthy dose of popular jazz standards, swing and western swing music, and a few classic country tunes thrown in to provide a program certain to be enjoyed by all.

Since 1989, Strictly Clean and Decent has completed 10 tours of Ireland. They have performed three times at the Cobh International Folk Music and Dance Festival, the Bluegrass and Olde Tyme Music Festival in Cork, and twice at the Irish Bluegrass Music Association’s festival in Athy. Stateside, the trio has opened for noted performers such as Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, Vassar Clements, Tim O’Brien, Tony Rice, Lee Greenwood, John Cowan, Jerry Clower, and Rhonda Vincent. The trio has performed at a variety of venues including Duke Gardens, the Biltmore House, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Concert Series (Boone), Summer Sunday Concert Series (Beech Mountain), Red White and Bluegrass Festival (Morganton), FreedomFest (Charlotte), WinterFest (Blowing Rock), MerleFest (Wilkesboro), and at many colleges and auditoriums throughout North Carolina.

On Tuesday, March 10 at 1 p.m. in the CCC&TI Recital Hall (B-100), CCC&TI’s Caldwell Campus in Hudson will host The Lenoir Rhyne University Jazz Ensemble.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Jazz Ensemble is directed by Dr. Christopher Nigrelli and features LRU students, alumni, and local musicians. This audition only ensemble performs an eclectic variety of big band jazz music.

On Wednesday, April 22 at 1 p.m. in the CC&TI Recital Hall (B-100), CCC&TI’s Caldwell Campus in Hudson will present the CCC&TI Chorus Ensemble.

The CCC&TI Chorus ensemble features students in the CCC&TI Associate of Fine Arts Music degree program as well as staff and faculty members. The Chorus is directed by Ms. Celia Sexton. In addition to teaching at CCC&TI, Sexton is an Associate Conductor for the Hickory Chorale Society and she was the director of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Chancel Choir and Youth Singers for 25 years. Sexton also formerly held the position of Music Minister at Holy Trinity, and has taught high school and college music courses in the Hickory area.

A special encore performance by the CCC&TI Chorus Ensemble will be presented on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church located at 547 6th Street NW, in Hickory.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Justin Butler at 828-726-2457 or email [email protected].