When Jaron Lamar Davis returns to Missouri Southern State University next week, he’ll once again be behind the drum set. This time, however, he won’t be a student.
The Joshua Espinoza Jazz Trio, featuring Davis on drums, is set to perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Corley Auditorium. It’s one of several jazz performances scheduled for the coming week.
Now living in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore metropolitan area, Davis has performed on world-renowned stages such as Philadelphia’s South Jazz Club and the Richmond Jazz Festival. Last year, he released his debut album as bandleader, “My View Through the Lens of Music.”
“I learned a lot during my time studying music at Missouri Southern,” Davis said. “I mainly studied under Dr. Phil Wise … he’s not a drummer, but he has a way of being able to help you learn the things you need to learn, which is the sign of a master teacher.
“It’s been five years since I left his teaching, but I carry all of it with me and use it almost every day.”
After his time at Missouri Southern, Davis performed with the Showboat Branson Belle for nearly three seasons before moving to the Washington, D.C./Baltimore metropolitan area. It was there that pianist Josh Espinoza and bassist Mikel Combs.
“It seemed like the universe came together because we all moved to this area within about a month of each other,” said Davis. “Through playing together, we began delving out from traditional jazz into more of an exploratory thing.”
The trio recently recorded their first album, “Journey into Night,” which will be released in June.
Admission to their Missouri Southern performance is free and open to the public.
Jazz lovers will have several other opportunities to enjoy an evening of music.
The MSSU Jazz Combos will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
The combos will also perform at 6 p.m. Friday, April 12, at Gusano’s Pizza, 3929 E. Seventh St. Reservations are strongly encouraged; call 417-623-9090.
Both performances will feature guest vocals from seniors Abby Hazlett and Danielle York.
The Pro Music Concert Series will continue with a performance by the Aaron Diehl Jazz Jazz Trio at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, in Corley Auditorium. Admission is $10. For ticket information, visit https://promusicajoplin.org.