In what will go down as one of my favorite concerts, I was so fortunate to photograph the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio at Miller Theatre this fall. The lights go down in the house and out comes the trio. Dr. Lonnie Smith comes slowly onto stage, using his cane the entire way. His bandmates (Jonathan Kreisberg and Xavier Breaker) help him to navigate and adjust the organ bench in a process that seems to take 10 minutes. All this time the audience is completely silent… and then out comes the most joyous, energetic performance I have ever seen. All the trappings of age and frailty melt away and the spirit of a 20 something musician comes pouring onto the stage as he just wails on the organ. To say he tore the roof of the theatre that night would be an understatement.
Dr. Lonnie Smith turned 75 recently and, in celebration of that milestone, released a new album on Blue Note today. It’s amazing. Go check it out immediately.
Here are a few images from that night: