Rhodes Spedale is a renowned jazz pianist, author, educator, historian, and radio personality. He is a native of Plaquemine LA and a long time resident of New Orleans LA. He began playing piano at the age of seven. He has a law degree from Tulane University. In 1966, After a stint in the army, he returned to New Orleans and began practicing law. He also worked his way into the local jazz scene. From 1972 to 1985 he produced Jazz Sketches at WWNO. This program explored all forms of jazz, from traditional to Avant Garde. He then hosted Jazz From Congo Square on WWOZ until 1990. In 1999 he retired from practicing law to devote full time to his first love, playing jazz piano.
Spedale has written on jazz and his reviews and articles appear in a number of publications, including Jazz Times, Jazz Forum, Reviews a’ la Mode, New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Arts Council Newsletter, and in liner notes for Concord Jazz. In 1984 he authored A Guide to Jazz in New Orleans which the historical, as well as modern jazz musicians who hail from New Orleans.
Spedale’s current group, The Rhodes Spedale Trio, includes Rhodes on piano, David Carbonara on bass, and a variety of local drummers including Dicky Taylor (of the Dukes of Dixieland Band), Mark Morris, and David Hansen. He also currently appears with Jim Campbell's The Gentle Jazz, and occasionally with Warren Clark's French Quarter Jazz Band.
Among the many musicians Spedale has performed with are: Tony Bazley, Germaine Bazzle, Al Belletto, James Black, Pud Brown, The Jim Campbell Orchestra, Jerry Christopher, Betty Comora, The Dukes of Dixieland Band, Carl Fontana, Bob Havens, Bill Huntington, Connie Jones, Clyde Kerr, Jr., Marilyn King, Tony Klatka, Ronnie Kole, David Lastie, Jack Maheu, Steve Masakowski, The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, Richard Moten, Mark Mullins, Rene' Netto, Richard Payne, Herlin Riley, Jamal Sharif, Daryl Sherman, Plato Smith, Richard Sudhalter, Alvin Thomas, Red Tyler, Warren Vache', Mike Vax, Johnny Vidacovich, Harry Watters, Marva Wright, Gennifer Flowers, Lee Oskar, Eddie Bayard, Jacques Gauthe, and Lee Oskar..
Spedale has also been involved with state and local music organizations. He served on the Louisiana State Music Commission Board, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Inc. Board, Louisiana Jazz Federation, New Orleans Jazz Club and New Orleans Jazz Museum Board. Spedale has served as President of the Louis Armstrong Cultural Development Fund, and Master of Ceremonies at Heart Fund Jazz Concerts, Jazz Jam, and the Blanche Thomas Memorial Concert. Rhodes is currently serving a three year term on the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Community Advisory Board and is a member of the 2003 French Quarter Festival Entertainment Committee.
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