RODERICK HARPER Chicago Sun-Times writer Lloyd Sachs states that he is, 'a smooth and serious singer.' Baton Rouge Morning Advocate writer Rod Dreher calls him, 'a very special talent.' Jazztimes Magazine proclaims, 'he is an able convert to jazz, when Jon Hendricks invited him on stage for a round of Thelonius Monk's 'Rhythmaning.'' Roderick is a native of Washington, D.C. He matriculated at Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, while he minored in Jazz Studies under the tutelage of jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste. In school, he formed and was part of numerous jazz groups. One of those groups was Alvin Batiste and the Jazzstranauts. This afforded him the opportunity to come to the attention of jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis. With the recommendation of Batiste, Roderick was invited to sing with Marsalis anytime. This led him to land a featured spot in the Ellis Marsalis Quartet. Being under the experienced hand of Marsalis brought about many opportunities for Roderick to perform with the likes of Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Betty Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis, Joe Sample, Danny Barker, Kent Jordan, Mark Whitfield, Joe Lavano, Bobby Watson, Marcus Roberts, Cyrus Chestnut, Nicholas Payton, Wessel Anderson, James Carter, The Harper Brothers, Stephen Scott, Brian Blade, Max Roach, Terence Blanchard, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and many others. Roderick is putting the finishing touches on his sophomore project entitled, 'The Essence Of... Roderick Harper.' Grammy-Award Winning Jazz Trumpeter, Nicholas Payton, produced the project. The C.D. is a follow-up to his solo debut, 'Beautiful Beginnings,' produced by Delfeayo Marsalis.