Paine College Lyceum Series to feature Augustans Damien Sneed and Wycliffe Gordon

Posted by ncarter | 04/5/2010 07:30 AM

Paine College presents its Lyceum Series featuring nationally acclaimed pianist, arranger, composer and Augusta native Damien Sneed and Wycliffe Gordon, performer, conductor, composer, arranger, educator and Augusta native in concert on Thursday, April 22, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel.

This series of lectures and performances on the Arts is designed to enhance students' experience. Although designed primarily for students, the programs are free and open to the public. Groups are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at 706.396.7591 or

About Wycliffe Gordon:

Gordon, a native Augustan, enjoys an extraordinary career as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger, and educator, receiving high praise from audiences and critics alike. Gordon tours the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz for audiences ranging from heads of state to elementary school students. Gordon received the Jazz Journalists Association 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002 and 2001 Award for Trombonist of the Year, and the Jazz Journalists Association 2000 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Trombone. 
In addition to a thriving solo career, he tours regularly leading the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet, headlining at legendary jazz venues throughout the world. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor's "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" Series. Gordon’s extensive performance experience includes work with many of the most renowned jazz performers of the past and present. 
Gordon’s musical prowess has been captured on numerous recordings, including thirteen solo CDs and seven co-leader CDs. His latest recordings, “Boss Bones” and “You and I” were released in June 2008. Gordon is featured on numerous recordings with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and many others as evidenced in his extensive discography. 
Wycliffe Gordon is also a gifted composer and arranger. He was commissioned to compose a vibrant new score for the 1925 classic silent film "Body and Soul" (notable as the screen debut of Paul Robeson) which was premiered at the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra’s 2000-01 season opening night performance at Avery Fisher Hall, and was released on DVD in 2008. Gordon's "I Saw the Light," a musical tribute to Muhammad Ali, was commissioned and premiered by the Brass Band of Battle Creek in March 2004, and is scheduled for release on DVD in 2010.

About Damien Sneed:

Sneed, a native Augustan, is a sought after pianist, organist, vocal coach, conductor, composer, arranger, lecturer, producer and graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School. He currently serves as Artist in Residence at Paine College. In this position, he works with music classes and the Paine College Concert Choir. He has studied at some of the finest conservatories and universities including Howard University, the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, New York University and the Manhattan School of Music.  His professional affiliations include the City University of New York (CUNY) as a professor of music, The Juilliard School as a staff accompanist, the Martina Arroyo Foundation as an artistic consultant, Jazz at Lincoln Center as an artistic consultant, New York University’s Clive Davis Department for Recorded Music as a guest lecturer, YAMAHA endorsed as an Influential Artist and The Greater Allen Cathedral of New York as Music Director. 
Sneed recently completed his first LIVE recording project, Introspections, at Columbia University’s Miller Theater towards the end of February 2010. The project, which takes the listener on a musical journey through his development as a performer includes classical, jazz and gospel music. Introspections will be released in the summer of 2010.
Sneed’s classical piano debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall was on Saturday, March 13, 2010 where he was featured as a soloist, accompanied a violist from the faculty of New England Conservatory and, collaborated with a young, rising operatic soprano from Serbia, Dusica Bijelic.   Damien Sneed's conducting debut took place in April 2008 at Jazz at Lincoln Center where he conducted the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis' Mass, a composition almost 2 hours in length, for the entire Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and a 150-voice choir.  His compositional debut took place in June 2008 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center where he performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra along with American Idol Finalist Anwar Robinson and conductor Thomas Wilkins including a piece that arranged and scored for the entire 64­piece orchestra.
Sneed performed during “A Celebration of America” in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on Monday, January 19, 2009, the eve of President Barack Obama’s Inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The event was hosted by Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Wynton Marsalis and retired US Supreme Court Chief Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  Sneed performed along with guest artists including Dianne Reaves, Cassandra Wilson, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jessye Norman, Dave Brubeck, Paquito D’Rivera, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and many more.

Sneed was recently nominated for a Grammy Award in the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards for “Album of the Year” in the Traditional Gospel music category for his work as co-producer, vocal arranger, background vocalist, music director and keyboard player on Vickie Winans newest project, “How I Got Over”.  The album also received two Stellar awards.
Damien Sneed has served as Music Director for the following artists in the gospel music arena -Karen Clark-Sheard, Vickie Winans, Nikki Ross, Twinkie Clark, Melonie Daniels, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Kierra Sheard, the Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp and others. In other genres, Damien has been afforded the opportunity to perform with many other musical legends and entertainment moguls such as Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, David Sanborn, Kenny Burrell, Hezekiah Walker, American Idol’s Fantasia Barrino, George Huff & Anwar Robinson, Ashford & Simpson, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Minneapolis Symphony, Darin Atwater & Soulful Symphony, Lorna Myers, Opera Ebony, Opera Noire, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, the Boys Choir of Harlem, the Oakwood College Aeolians and many other notable world-class performers. Damien Sneed's musical prowess has allowed him to be featured in Europe, Japan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, South America and over 42 states in the US. He has recorded and produced several internationally distributed projects along with Grammy-Award winning artists.