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Sat, May 04


Merrimans' Playhouse

Paul Cornish Quartet

Presenting new original music from his upcoming album release "You're Exaggerating," with a world-class quartet comprised of Lenard Simpson, Emma Dayhuff, and Dorian Phelps.

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Paul Cornish Quartet
Paul Cornish Quartet

Time & Location

May 04, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $12 General/$6 Student. Concert is one long set. End time is approximately 9:00 pm.

Paul Cornish is a Los Angeles-based pianist and composer who has performed around the world with some of today's most prominent artists across genres. He will be presenting new original music from his upcoming album release "You're Exaggerating," with a world-class quartet comprised of Lenard Simpson, Emma Dayhuff, and Dorian Phelps.

"You're Exaggerating" is a set of music inspired by how each of our life experiences (internal and external) and upbringings, shapes how we view the world and our respective "realities." Which, in turn, affects our capacities to understand and relate to others. I hope the live experience of this music challenges and, perhaps, liberates the listeners' belief of what's possible in their reality/individual world.

Paul Cornish - piano

Lenard Simpson - alto sax

Emma Dayhuff - bass

Dorian Phelps - drums

Los Angeles-based pianist and composer Paul Cornish strives to inspire freedom and collaboration in his music and community. Hailing from Houston where he was a student at the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Cornish was one of seven jazz prodigies worldwide selected to be awarded a full fellowship to attend the esteemed Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz at UCLA. Here, he completed his master’s degree, studied, and performed with such renowned artists as Herbie Hancock, Billy Childs, Robert Hurst, Chris Potter, and Walter Smith III. Cornish was recently a finalist in the 2023 American Pianists Awards. In 2021, he won first prize in the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition and received 18th Street Arts Center’s Make Jazz Fellowship. Cornish has performed extensively across the globe with such notable artists as Joshua Redman, Louis Cole, Mark Guiliana, HAIM, Snoh Aalegra, Terrace Martin, Kanye West, and many more.

Lenard Simpson is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lenard was mostly self-taught through high school, but his natural ability and musicianship earned him accolades such as membership in the esteemed Grammy Camp Jazz Session, and an outstanding soloist award at the Mingus Jazz Competition in New York City. Lenard has had the opportunity to play and travel with artists such as pianist and composer-Billy Childs, Kurt Elling, Marquis Hill, and Clayton Cameron. Lenard received a B.M in Jazz performance at Northern Illinois University. While studying at NIU, Lenard was awarded first place in Chicago’s esteemed Luminarts Jazz Competition.

Upon graduation, Lenard moved to Chicago and soon became one of the city’s top call saxophonists playing sideman to legendary local drummers, George Fludas and Charles Heath. Lenard’s trio has appeared at premier clubs and jazz festivals throughout the Chicago and Milwaukee area. Lenard recently graduated from the Thelonious Monk Institute Fellowship, which has since been renamed to the Herbie Hancock Institut where he was selected by a panel of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, James Newton, and Ambrose Akinmusire.

Emma Dayhuff has followed her musical passions to places beyond what she imagined from her childhood home on Sourdough Canyon Road in Bozeman, Montana. She is a graduate of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance in Los Angeles and is a nationally and internationally touring artist. Emma has had opportunities to share the stage with Herbie Hancock, Cecile McLorin Salvant, David Murray, Kahil El’Zabar, Helen Sung, Jeff Parker, Dee Alexander, Isaiah Collier, Corey Wilkes, Victor Goines, Gretchen Parlato, and Patricia Barber.

Dorian aka "Hurricane" Phelps is an Indianapolis musician who has exploded onto the local music scene. Dorian comes from a musical family and is the son of Kenny and Valerie Phelps. Dorian picked up a pair of sticks at the early age of 1 and has been honing his craft ever since. Coming from a family of musicians he was exposed to many different genres. From starting in church to studying theory and jazz he quickly adapted to covering all styles of music. He has shared the stage with Pharez Whitted, Opal Staples, Steve Davis, Lamar Campbell, GangGang Butter" artists of the year, Tad Robinson, Owl Music Group, and countless Naptown events.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023; 2023-2024 seasons). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons). 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.

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