Cofield to sing at KSU Feb. 18

By PATRICIA VANSANT Special to The State Journal Published:

The Frankfort Arts Foundation presents nationally recognized vocalist and Frankfort native Kemba Cofield and The Kemba Cofield Quartet in concert 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Bradford Hall on the Kentucky State University campus. Joining her in performance will be KSU Professor Hunt Butler on tenor saxophone, KSU Professor Robert Griffin on drums, Jason Foureman on bass, and Takana Miyamoto on piano.

FAF season tickets will be honored. General admission tickets cost $20 / adult and senior citizen and $5 / full-time student and child. Children under six are admitted free.

There will be city bus service picking up at 7 p.m., Franklin Square, Rite Aid; 7:15 p.m., Kings Daughters Apartments, 220 Hanna Place; 7:30 p.m., Brighton Park; and 7:45 p.m., KSU Bradford Hall.

Cofield, daughter of Virginia and William Cofield of Frankfort, comes back to her hometown for her debut performance with the Frankfort Arts Foundation. She is a nationally recognized vocalist singing jazz, gospel, and contemporary music. Cofield has been described as a creative, charismatic, and gifted singer.

Cofield is a former Miss Black Kentucky, Miss Kentucky State University, Miss Franklin County High School, and a Kentucky State University alumna. She is currently teaching music in Atlanta and finishing her masters degree in music education. While in Frankfort, she will work with area schools and will conduct a community master class at KSU.

Growing up in Frankfort, Cofield loved music and was always singing in talent shows, school, and church. When she was nine, she saw the legendary Sarah Vaughn perform, and, then, developed a love for jazz. Franklin County High School and KSU jazz bands served as her training ground, but it wasnt until she moved to Atlanta that her real opportunity came.

Former Freddy Cole drummer, Bernard Linnette, heard Cofield sing at a Tuesday night jazz club and was very impressed with her voice. She began singing with his sextet, and Linnette became her mentor.

Cofield taught chorus and piano lessons to high school students during the day while singing jazz at night, as well as, working on her masters degree in music education on summer breaks. In 2003 Cofield met trombonist Wycliffe Gordon who invited her to sing with his ensemble, which has proven to be very successful. Her work with Linnette and Gordon has brought her vocal gifts to new audiences around the nation.

Cofields album, Shades of Kemba, has received raves in the music industry. She moves through traditional standards with a comfortable ease, while displaying great control and patience with the texture of a tune on moodier numbers.

Roots of New Orleans jazz shine through as Wycliffe Gordon leads an all-star ensemble in When The Saints Go Marching In, and her commitment to gospel music is strongly expressed in I Want Jesus To Walk With Me. In May she will be appearing with Gordon at the New Yorks Lincoln Center in a tribute to late Mahalia Jackson.

Corporate sponsors are Physicians for the Arts White, Scott, Jonah & Associates, PSC, Connie Gayle White, MD; Karen R. Scott, MD; Nikolina Jonah, MD; and Lisa Glass, ARNP; Dr. and Mrs. Jan Weisberg & Facial Enhancements; Womens Care of the Bluegrass, PLLC; Frankfort Regional Medical Center; Capital Surgical Clinic, Dr. and Mrs. Willis McKee, Dr. and Mrs. Steve Vallance, Dr. and Mrs. Byran Shouse; Hromyak, Howard & Associates, George R. Hromyak, MD and John R. Howard, MD; Dr. & Mrs. Mark Hughes.

Also, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Daniels; Dr. Anthony Barnes; Dr. and Mrs. James Barr; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Blair; Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Dobner; Dr. and Mrs. Don Farley; Dr. Michael Graff; Dr. and Mrs. Lori Haddix; Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Howley; Dr. Robert G. Kinker and Eye Care For Kentucky; Tina and Stephen Neustat, MD; Drs. Ann Pollock & John Patterson; Dr. and Mrs. Willett Rush; and Dr. and Mrs. Paran Saranga. Kentucky State University, Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA), and Willie E. Peale, Jr. Attorney At Law, are corporate sponsors of this event.

The Kentucky State University HPER Majors Club will be selling refreshments, including fresh-baked goods, popcorn, and hot and cold drinks, in Bradford Hall lobby as a university community outreach project and fundraiser.

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