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Legacy of Floyd Cramer lives on

November 8th, 2011 3:53 am by staff report

Legacy of Floyd Cramer lives on

Jason Floyd Coleman

   Jason Floyd Coleman has been playing the piano since he was barely able to reach the keys, and seems to have been blessed with natural talent inherited from his maternal grandfather, legendary keyboardist Floyd C r a m e r.

   Over time, Coleman’s playing style has progressed and matured into an uncanny reflection of the signature stylings of his late grandfather, and today the 26-year-old pianist enjoys entertaining audiences by giving new life to Cramer’s beloved music.

   Coleman will perform “The Legacy of Floyd Cramer,” featuring some of his grandfather’s favorite songs, at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 13 at Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville. Coleman will also help kick off NPAC’s Festival of Trees by playing favorite Christmas tunes.

   Tickets for the concert are $17.50 for adults and $10 for students.

   At age 5, Coleman began taking piano lessons and continued for the next eight years. Though this formal training was important to his musical development and complemented his innate ability to play by ear, Coleman always preferred to play the songs he heard on the radio and in movies rather than his classical pieces.

   “I never liked to practice at the piano — I just wanted to play,” he said. “But when you think of practice as just playing the piano, it’s not so bad.”

   Throughout his school-age years, he was constantly involved in church musicals and school choirs as both a vocalist and accompanist. After high school, Coleman continued his studies at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville. In May 2006, he graduated magna cum laude at the age of 21.

   Coleman began to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps at an early age, singing when he was only 2 years old on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at one of his grandfather’s concerts. He performed twice with Cramer on national television and, at age 4, he sang while his grandfather played on “Nashville Now,” hosted by Ralph Emery. When Coleman was 9, he played a Christmas piano duet with Cramer on “Music City Tonight,” hosted by Lorriane Crook and Crystal Gayle.

   Today, Coleman’s love for music keeps him busy. As the Music Associate at Parkway Baptist Church in his hometown of Goodlettsville, Tenn., he takes great joy in leading the church’s dynamic contemporary worship service every Sunday morning.

   Coleman got his first taste of live touring experience at age 17, when he played keyboard for a number of concerts across the country with Dove-nominated contemporary Christian artist Greg Long, who is now a member of the Grammy-winning group Avalon.

   As a solo artist, Coleman has been featured in a number of local and regional concerts, festivals and radio shows in recent years, and he has also performed for countless benefit concerts, receptions and other events in and around Nashville.

   In May 2004, Coleman was given the honor of playing for the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony, recognizing Cramer’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

   Coleman stays busy recording and performing, carrying on the legacy left behind by his grandfather. While audiences love hearing him perform the music of his legendary grandfather, they are also privy to hearing Coleman’s own unique style, as well.

   To order tickets for this weekend’s concert, call the NPAC box office at (423) 638-1679. For more information on Coleman, visit www.Ja  .

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