By Kylie Stamper
Christian Howes and the band “Southern Exposure” performed on March 13 in Richardson Auditorium. With an audience of approximately 70 people from the communities of Winfield, Ark City and surrounding areas, the musicians presented a 90-minute set performing some of the signature songs from the album “Southern Exposure.”
“Southern Exposure” is the name of one of Howes’ latest albums that refers to the combination of American Jazz and music from Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Cuba and other Latin American countries. The album was recorded originally by Howes and Richard Galliano. Galliano is known across the world for his talents as an accordionist.
Amber Peterson, assistant professor of music, was one of the audience members at the concert. Peterson participated in the clinic he presented in the fall. She said, “He brings a really different style of jazz that you often don’t hear in small towns like this. You would have to go up to a bigger metropolitan area to get even close to this type of jazz. He does a lot of very experimental things and his combination of styles is something very unique for the students to hear as well.”
The clinic Howes presented in October 2014 focused on improvisation. Howes said, “My clinics are focused on teaching students who have a classical training and introducing them to some other genres the traditional academy of music education offers. I think part of what’s happening now is that classically trained musicians are realizing that they’re missing out on a lot of things. They can be getting through that by joining the participatory culture and finding other niches within the music world.”
During the clinic in October, Howes worked with the college to find a date that he would be able to come back to campus to perform. Howes’ performance is a part of the performance series in Richardson Performing Arts Center. Jessica Falk, director of camps and conferences, said, “We are trying to bring different acts to campus, at least four a year. So we will continue to do things like this. We enjoyed having Christian and his group is really easy to work with.”
Howes started as a classically trained violinist when he was five years old. When he was about 17 years old, his friends started playing in rock bands which originally got him started in other genres. “I wanted to relate to my peers so I started playing rock music and then that’s when it opened me up to the possibility of different directions outside of blues and gospel music and jazz and other styles. Music for me and my career has been about exploring different influences from different cultures,” Howes said.
The group is currently on tour to promote the “Southern Exposure” album. The band drove from Louisiana the day of the performance. After they were finished with the performance in Winfield, they made their way to Kansas City, Missouri to play on March 14 and will perform again on March 16 in Utah.
The group that performed in Richardson was made up of Hamilton Hardin, piano, Cedric Easton, drums, Dean Hewlett, bass, and Patrick Harison, accordion.
Kylie Stamper is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email her at email@example.com.