SNL Band’s Leon Pendarvis to Speak at River Campus April 21



April 14, 2009 – Leon Pendarvis, musician, musical director and conductor for NBC’s Saturday Night Live Band, will present a lecture/workshop at 7 p.m. April 21 in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall in the Seminary Building on Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

Pendarvis’ lecture/workshop, entitled “Pursuing One’s Dreams, in Spite of the Challenges,” will lead the audience through his journey with SNL, as well as his numerous other career accomplishments.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not only for students, but for anyone in the community who is curious as to how a show like SNL is put together,” said Judith Farris, artist-in-residence in musical theatre and voice for Southeast’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

Pendarvis’ success with the SNL Band barely scratches the surface of his considerable talents and accomplishments in the music industry. In addition to his high-profile role as the band’s musical director and conductor, he has played keyboards for the band for nearly 30 years, making him the longest standing musician in the show’s history. He also has performed throughout Europe with the Blues Brothers, as well as at presidential inaugurations, Sting’s “Save the Rainforest” concerts, and a tribute to music giant Ahmet Ertegun.

His credits include writing, producing and playing for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Ike and Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Roberta Flack, Chaka Kahn, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Celine Dion, Luther Vandross, Billy Joel, Jewel and countless others. Pendarvis also owns Pinwheel Productions, a world-class recording studio that has worked with artists like Pink and Avril Lavigne, in addition to producing hundreds of national commercials.

For more information on Pendarvis’ lecture/workshop, contact Theresa Messmer in Southeast’s School of Visual and Performing Arts at (573) 651-2210.