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Wed, Nov 22


Merrimans' Playhouse

James Austin Jr. Trio

The trio will perform “Songs from the Great American Songbook and More!” They'll also perform tunes from “Songs in the Key of Wonder and More!". Songs in the Key of Wonder is a project of James' jazz arrangements of a collection of Stevie Wonder tunes.

Registration is Closed due to COVID. ALL cancelled concerts will be rescheduled.
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James Austin Jr. Trio
James Austin Jr. Trio

Time & Location

Nov 22, 2023, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM EST

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $15 General/$5 Student. Concert end time is only an estimate.

The trio will perform “Songs from the Great American Songbook and More!” They'll also perform tunes from “Songs in the Key of Wonder and More!". Songs in the Key of Wonder is a project of James' jazz arrangements of a collection of Stevie Wonder tunes. 

James Austin Jr. - piano

Clark Sommers - bass

Kyle Swan - drums


EPK - Songs in the Key of Wonder

Songs in the Key of Wonder


James Austin Jr. is an accomplished jazz pianist and bandleader who hails from Chicago, IL. He has honed his craft under the tutelage of several legendary jazz musicians including extensive study with Barry Harris, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz educators of all time. James’ musical achievements include being honored as a featured performer and semifinalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. In recent years, James has performed alongside an illustrious list of singers and musicians in diverse settings throughout the world. He recently served as pianist and arranger for several star-studded concerts at Carnegie Hall under the baton of esteemed musical director, Ray Chew. James is regularly featured in the New York City area as a pianist and bandleader for various live concerts, theatrical performances, and civic and charitable events. He has curated and led the NJPAC Jazz Jam Session series since its inception. Songs in the Key of Wonder, James’ debut album, showcases his tasteful instrumental arrangements of a selection of classic compositions from the songbook of the great Stevie Wonder.

Bassist, Composer and Educator, Clark Sommers has toured and performed extensively throughout the world. He has had the privilege of performing with Cedar Walton, Darrell Grant, Brian Blade, Ernie Watts, Bennie Maupin, Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Frank Wess, Charles McPherson, Peter Bernstein, Lin Haliday, Dana Hall, Jodie Christian, Bobby Broom, Jeff Parker, Ron Perrillo, Geof Bradfield, Michael Weiss, George Fludas, Kevin Mahogany, Eden Atwood, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, The Mighty Blue Kings and The Chicago Jazz Orchestra among others.

Clark completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies and World Music at California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with bass masters Charlie Haden and Darek Oles. While living in Los Angeles, Clark performed with Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, The Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, Joe La Barbara and Larry Koonse. He continues to seek expansion of his craft by pursuing his musical studies with masters such as David Grossman of the New York Philharmonic, Mike Longo and Stefon Harris. He recently completed two residencies at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton California.

Clark is proud to be at home in the bass chair with vocalist Kurt Elling, with whom he tours the globe bringing jazz to everyone from Istanbul to the Canary Islands. Thus far he has been privileged to play on two GRAMMY nominated recordings with the band, one of which won the GRAMMY for best vocal jazz album in 2009.

When not on the road with Kurt Elling, Clark enjoys leading his own group “Ba(SH).” The group includes long time friends Dana Hall and Geof Bradfield. The groups first CD was released in August 2013 and has received critical acclaim. It was acknowledged on the “notable and not to be missed” list by All About Jazz in 2013.

Clark can also be heard performing with Portland’s Darrell Grant in his “Territory” ensemble which includes Brian Blade, Joe Locke and Steve Wilson. Other groups that Clark performs regularly with include Dana Hall’s “Spring” and “Black Fire,” Geof Bradfield’s “African Flowers Ensemble” and “Melba,” Chicago Yestet, Dan Cray Trio, Spin Quartet and many other musicians.

Grammy Award winning drummer Kyle Swan has been working on mastering his craft for over 15 years. He has demonstrated true dedication to enhancing his artistry in every way. He has participated in many music festivals across the world which include the Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada, 2016), Jazz Cruise (2017), Port Au Prince Jazz Festival (Haiti, 2018), Dromos Jazz Festival (Italy 2018) Guatemala Jazz Festival (Guatemala 2019), Menorca Jazz Festival (Spain 2019), and many others. He has had the honor of playing with many esteemed artists such as, Grammy Award winning artists Brian Lynch, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Paquito D’Rivera. He has also had the privilege of playing with other phenomenal artists such as Bobby Broom, Orrin Evans, Alex Brown, Sean Jones, Eric Reed, etc. He attained his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music from the years 2013-2018. He studied Criminology and Jazz Studies in his undergraduate degree and became the Teaching Assistant for the Jazz Drum Department during his graduate studies. As a student of the Black American artform that is jazz, Kyle has devoted quality time to his musical evolution, instruction, and mastery.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trusts and Foundations, through grants provided by the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021 season), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022 season), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2021 and 2021-2022 season). The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


  • General

    General Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    Student Discount - College students please have ID.

    Sale ended



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