Indiana State University Newsroom

John Spicknall's Jazz Piano Trio to perform Sept. 21

September 12, 2014

John Spicknall's Jazz Piano Trio will perform a program of Horace Silver's music in the Indiana State University's Recital Hall of the Richard Landini Center for Fine and Performing Arts 2 p.m. Sept. 21.

The program is free and open to the public.

The group consists of pianist John Spicknall, bassist Joe Deal and drummer John DiCenso. These musicians began working on arrangements of "Great American Song Book" repertory and jazz standards more than 10 years ago and continue to grow and develop. The band has often appeared backing up guest musicians at Indiana State, including performances with Bobby Shew, Jim Ketch and Jim Perry.

Horace Silver (Sept. 2, 1928-June 18, 2014) was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his distinctive playing style and pioneering compositional contributions, including helping to create the rhythmically forceful branch of jazz known as "hard-bop," which combines elements of rhythm-and-blues and gospel music with jazz. Silver merges the sophistication of a variety of altered chords, scales and unusual harmonic sequences with a bluesy feeling to provide a unique synthesis in his compositions.

"Horace Silver's music has always represented what jazz musicians preach but don't necessarily practice, and that's simplicity. It sticks to the memory; it's very singable. It gets in your blood easily; you can comprehend it easily. It's very rooted, very soulful." said jazz bassist Christian McBride in an interview for NPR in 2008.

Joe Deal is a jazz bass player who has been living and playing in the Indianapolis area the past 25 years. He has performed with jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Shew, Pat LaBarbera, Phil Wilson, Mike Metheny, Art Blakey pianists James Williams and Geoff Keezer, comedian Rich Little and Spyro Gyra member Dave Samuels. CDs include: The Joe Deal Jazz Trio "Moods," "Red Green and Blues" by Ron Enyard and "I'll Never Stop Loving You" by Harry Miedema with Deep 6.

Drummer John DiCenso grew up in a musical family in the Boston area, playing in high school concert and stage bands, as well as earning first-chair parts in regional jazz bands. He played in his college's big band and was an active working drummer in Boston's general business music industry through his late teens, 20s and early 30s. John is materials manager for Raybestos Powertrain LLC in Sullivan.

In 2007, pianist John Spicknall retired from the Indiana State University School of Music, where he was involved in woodwind, music education and jazz instruction. He continues to teach jazz piano there on an adjunct basis. He also is visiting professor of jazz piano at DePauw University, a position he has held since 2006. In 2012, he retired from the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra after more than 40 years of service. He has been the house pianist at Stables Restaurant for the past 10 years.


Media contact: Libby Roerig, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or