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“Smokin” Joe McBride
Born and raised in Fulton, MO, pianist/keyboardist/composer and vocalist Joe McBride began playing the piano at age four. His uncle Bake McBride was an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians. His earliest influences were gospel music, bebop, straight-ahead jazz, Motown, and ’70s R&B and funk.
As a teenager, he began singing and playing at jazz clubs. Around this time, McBride was stricken with a degenerative eye disease that eventually claimed his sight, but his passion for music didn’t diminish. He continued his musical studies at the Missouri School for the Blind and Webster University in suburban St. Louis, where he majored in jazz performance. He also attended the University of North Texas.
Joe has recorded 9 albums as a leader and has recorded and performed with the who’s who of jazz including Philip Bailey, Dave Koz, Grover Washington Jr., Peter White, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Jonthan Butler and the list goes on and on. He has been a favorite in Cape Town South Africa where his remake of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” with Stanley Turrentine became a Cape classic among jazz fans. His latest recording release is “Looking For A Change” and has Joe revisiting classic R&B and Pop tunes and rearrangements in a more traditional jazz trio styling.
McBride also performs an incredible program that pays tribute to “Brother Ray.” His interpretations of Ray Charles’ classics have been internationally received here in the United States, Europe, Israel and South Africa. Joe’s classic recorded and performed repertoire of originals and classics include: “An Evening In Dallas,” “Walking In Rhythm,” “Woke Up This Morning” (Theme to the Sopranos), “In The Moonlight, ” “Never Be Lonely,” and “Crazy.”