Dutcher Snedeker is a new talent for Truth in Jazz Orchestra, playing the keyboard with both competence and style. He is a Grand Rapids native and currently completing his undergraduate studies at Grand Valley State University. Dutcher says he was drawn to study at GVSU because he knew or knew of several of the music faculty due to exposure at summer music camps and through private lessons.
He will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Music degree in music performance. He plans to go on to do graduate work in jazz studies and has auditions scheduled for jazz programs at DePaul University, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and New England Conservatory.
Dutcher began playing piano in second grade, being encouraged by a very musical family. Three uncles have doctorates in music and, they and his father are involved many areas of music including performance, composition, and education. Instruments played in the extended Snedeker family include piano, violin, French horn, cello, and oboe.
For the past 14 years, Dutcher has played in a variety of west Michigan groups. Currently those groups include Brad Fritcher + Trois, Hannah Rose and The Graves Tones, The Grand House Trio, Big Band Nouveau, and TIJO. In addition he serves as a sub for a variety of groups around West Michigan. These bands provide a variety of musical experiences including jazz, but also contemporary big band and blues.
“I like to interact with different musicians in different styles,” he explains.
Dutcher, as a young musician, had a special honor in 2013 when his composition, “Smooth Silk”, recorded with Brad Fritcher + Trois, was awarded first place in the ArtPrize jazz category. This prize allowed them to record their sophomore album, The Year of the Architects, an album that has several nominations at the Jammies XVI.
“I love playing in Truth in Jazz Orchestra because it is a great way to connect with the popular jazz music of the past and with the people who appreciate this style of music. It also allows me as a performer to have another outlet for my playing and provides a community of professionals from whom I learn as I develop my skills as a musician.”