Fred Knapp & the Fred Knapp Quartet Feat. Randy Napoleon

12dec7:30 PMFred Knapp & the Fred Knapp Quartet Feat. Randy Napoleon

Event Details

*Archived content will be available following the scheduled date and time of the livestream.*

WSCC Performing Arts Living Room Series: The Fred Knapp Quartet Feat. Randy Napoleon

Fred Knapp: Drums
Matthew Fries: Piano
Rob Hartman: Bass
Randy Napoleon: Guitar

Fred Knapp: Drums

Fred Knapp is a drummer, vocalist, pianist, composer, and educator. He is known for having a special touch on the drum set with the ability to adapt to any playing situation. Fred has studied with Quincy Davis, Keith Hall, Tim Froncek, and Rupert Kettle. He also studied jazz piano with Dr. Steve Zegree and drum set with legendary jazz drummer Billy Hart, while getting a music degree from Western Michigan University. For more than two decades Fred has been busy performing in the Mid West with his trio, the John Shea Trio, and working as a freelance musician. He was named “Jazz Musician of the Year” in 2019 by the West Michigan Jazz Society. Fred also has a thriving teaching studio where he teaches piano and drum set. The Fred Knapp Trio recently released its seventh CD, “Song for Jaden”. Their previous release, “How Deep is the Ocean” received an editors choice award from CDBaby.com. Fred has performed and/or recorded with Terrell Stafford, Xavier Davis, Walter White, Chris Vadala, Conrad Herwig, Randy Napoleon, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Paul Keller, Diego Rivera, Randy Johnston, Sunny Wilkinson, Tad Weed, Tom Knific, Jeremy Siskind, Shawn “Thunder” Wallace, and a who’s who of local greats such as John Shea, Steve Talaga, Mike Frost, Rob Smith, Terry Lower, Betty Joplin, Jim Cooper, Edye Evans Hyde, Tom Hagen, Robin Connell, the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, Big Band Nouveau, the Kalamazoo Big Band, and award winning area jazz ensemble Evidence.

Click Here to Listen to Fred Knapp On Spotify

Randy Napoleon: Guitar

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Randy Napoleon began his journey in jazz immediately after finishing his studies at the University of Michigan. Jeff Hamilton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra invited the young Napoleon to do a series of performances with them at the Hollywood Bowl. From there, Napoleon’s career took off, first touring with pianist Benny Green nationally and internationally for a year, and then full time with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. A three-year stint with crooner Michael Buble followed; Napoleon is featured on Buble’s Grammy-nominated CD “Caught in the Act.”
Guitarist George Benson calls Napoleon “sensational.” Detroit Free Press critic Mark Stryker says Napoleon “plays with a gentle, purring tone that makes you lean in close to hear its range of color and articulation.” Washington Post critic Mike Joyce praises his “exceptionally nimble finger-style technique.” Comparing him to Wes Montgomery, music critic Michael G. Nastos says, “he displays an even balance of swing, soul, and single-line or chord elements that mark an emerging voice dedicated to tradition and universally accessible jazz values.”
Napoleon currently tours with the legendary singer/pianist, Freddy Cole, and is featured on Cole’s 2009 album, “Live at Dizzy’s Club: The Dreamer in Me.“ He is the main arranger and the guitarist on “Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B,” a 2010 Grammy-nominated release from High Note that features songs from the Billy Eckstine song book, as well as on “Talk to Me,” Cole’s 2011 album, and Cole’s most recent album “This and That.”
Today, Napoleon is one of the most sought-after guitarists in New York, where he is known as a forward-thinking musician with a passion for the jazz guitar tradition. In addition to backing the best, he leads his own bands, an organ trio, a trombone trio, a quartet with piano, and a three-horn sextet that includes organ, drums, trumpet, tenor sax, and trombone.

Click Here to Listen To Randy Napoleon on Spotify


(Saturday) 7:30 PM

Link to Performance