Jazz pianist Roberts, singer-songwriters Campbell and Edwards bound for Bates College concerts

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LEWISTON — Two October concerts in Bates College’s Olin Arts Center Concert Hall span the spectrum of American music.

Described by jazz master Wynton Marsalis as “the genius of the modern piano,” Marcus Roberts and his combo return to Bates at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19.

The following weekend, eclectic Maine-based musicians Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”) and Don Campbell share the Olin stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.

Formed in 1995, the Marcus Roberts Trio is famed for virtuosity and a distinctive approach to the trio format that showcases each member’s artistry.

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Roberts is presented in conjunction with the Bates College Museum of Art exhibition “Convergence,” which explores the intersections between jazz, visual art and film, with a focus on African-American culture.

Last heard at Bates in 2007, Roberts is a pianist and composer who is equally accomplished in jazz and classical music. His deep respect for the contributions of the great musical masters has engendered his highly innovative and original approach to piano style and improvisation.

Pianists often dominate jazz trios, but the players in the Roberts trio — in addition to pianist Roberts, they are Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass — are equal partners.

Known for the chart-topping singles “Sunshine” and “Shanty,” Edwards has been making honest and upbeat music for more than 45 years. He has explored country, bluegrass, rock, blues and folk. Tom Snow, pianist and director of the Bates Jazz Band, is a member of Edwards’ band.

Joining Edwards at Bates is a regional favorite, singer-songwriter Campbell. Based in both Maine and Nashville, Campbell explores contemporary folk, country and rock.

Campbell’s music taps adult contemporary, country, Celtic and rock. He cites as inspiration artists ranging from the Beatles to Vince Gill to Stephen King. A particular influence is the late American folk artist Dan Fogelberg.

Campbell has opened for, amongst others, Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson, Keith Urban and George Jones. He was named Maine’s Best Singer-Songwriter in the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Annual Readers Poll six times.

Admission to the Roberts concert is $25, and to the Edwards-Campbell performance, $35. Tickets can be purchased at batestickets.com.

The Olin Arts Center is at 75 Russell St. For more information, contact 207-786-6135 or olinarts@bates.edu.

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