John Harden Pope

Pianist and vocalist John Harden Pope takes American folk material, old jazz tunes, or most anything that sound “rootsy” and turns it into his own style of “Roots Jazz”. Original songs figure into the mix as well as tunes from Jelly Roll Morton, Tom Waits, Bessie Smith, Bob Dylan, Mose Alison, Thelonious Monk, and the Beatles. Come hear jazz, blues, folk and gospel get mashed up in the same pot! When properly blended the results can be powerful. John will be bringing his own piano (a real one) and will be joined by acoustic bassist Owen Reynolds.

John Harden Pope grew up in Hannibal Missouri, the hometown of Mark Twain, the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, and Cliff Edwards, the singing voice of Jiminy Cricket. After studying composition at the Baylor University School of Music he spent most of the next twenty years working at the piano technician’s craft. Along the way he found he had a knack for playing jazz piano as well as black gospel music. He is currently the pianist at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Danville, Kentucky and has also been known to play trombone in a salsa band called The Big Maracas.

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