The Chapel of All Faiths hosted this month’s First Tuesday Performance Series, which featured Tifton native Kenyon Carter. Carter, along with a few friends, sharing a nuance of well-known church hymns in original jazz arrangements. This moving performance carried great sentimental value as it was dedicated to Carter’s father, who recently passed after a battle with cancer.
“These were my father’s favorite hymns and I would like to dedicate this to him. Thank you Dad,” said Carter as his eyes drifted upward as if looking past the high ceilings of the chapel.
Carter picked up his clarinet and started, "When We All Get to Heaven." The talented men behind him helped turn these everyday church hymns into original jazz jams that one would have hardly recognized. The bass player, Tim Aucin, went into a solo on his six string Hohner that made every head in the room bob.
Carter switched to a saxophone and one could hear a pin drop as the room quieted for “Amazing Grace.” The pews looked as if they were about to topple over as the audience leaned at the edge of their seats.
Tyrone Jackson began a piano solo and once again Carter went to a different place. He began smiling off to the side of the stage, and lifted his face to the sky as if reliving a distant memory kept in the notes that only he and his father knew.
“Kenyon is very honest about his music and has a fire about it. He understands that good music can be anything if done with sincerity,” said Aucin.
Aucin was originally Carter’s music director in high school, but their love for true music created a lifelong bond and friendship.
John David, who kept a simple drum kit for this event, also shared a unique solo that could have made these experienced musicians mistaken for a jam band. Jackson’s arrangement of “Old Rugged Cross” showed exceptional craftsmanship and passion. The performance ended with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and an uproar of applause spread through the entire chapel, which was on its feet.
Carter’s CD “Right By My Side” can be found on itunes, amazon and on his website www.keyoncarter.com.