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EU hosts Master Classes with Michael McDonald’s drummer & bassist

Published on Nov 18, 2015 by Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Evangel University Department of Music will present two Master Class sessions with renowned touring and studio musicians Dan Needham and Jacob Lowery on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015.

Needham and Lowery are on tour with Michael McDonald, a five-time Grammy Award winner who will play a show in Springfield that night as part of his “This Christmas” tour.

McDonald’s career includes scores of hits as a member of The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, as well as a hugely successful solo career. He has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for 2016.

Needham is McDonald’s drummer, while Lowery plays the bass guitar.

The master class sessions are free and open to the public. They will also be live-streamed on Evangel’s website: .

Evangel welcomes and encourages local musicians and other university students to attend these sessions.

Master Classes

  • The first Master Class will be from 10 to 11:45 a.m., in the Barnett Fine Arts Center recital hall. Needham and Lowery will discuss what it is like to record in a studio, the differences between studio sessions versus playing live concerts, some stories of their experiences, and they will give performance demonstrations.
  • The second Master Class will be from 1 to 2 p.m., again in the Barnett recital hall. Needham and Lowery will discuss the music industry from the perspective of musicians and producers. They will also talk about music as a business. Neeham is sponsored by Yamaha, Vic Firth and Paiste.

“Both of these guys are amazing at what they do and have a heart for teaching,” said Matt Moore, director of bands at Evangel and a long-time friend of Needham.

Moore teaches music industry classes at Evangel. He is a published writer, arranger and producer, and serves as manager/audio engineer of Music Precedent, Ltd.

For more information, contact Matt Moore at (417) 865-2811 ext. 7337.

Dan Needham biography

Needham was born and raised in upstate New York. Both parents were musicians, and by age 11, he had started to play professionally for society gigs and local bands. Throughout his school years, he developed a wide array of styles and techniques, and won numerous awards.

In 1991, he moved to Nashville to finish his degree and pursue music. He began performing with a Brazilian Samba Band, eclectic jazz groups, country artists, R&B artists, alternative bands, rock artists and pop artists.

Today, Needham is recognized in Nashville as a top studio session and live drummer. His credits include artists such as Michael McDonald, Vanessa Williams, Amy Grant, K.T. Oslin, Charlie Peacock, Petra, Carman, Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James and Point of Grace.

Needham’s main focus is a band he has been a part of for about a year called One World Movement.

It is an all-star band comprised of producer/bassist Tommy Sims (Michael Bolton, Michael McDonald, Bruce Springsteen, wrote Eric Clapton’s hit “Change the World”); guitarist/vocalist Chris Rodrigues (Amy Grant, Shania Twain, Kenny Loggins, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire); and keyboardist Marc Harris (Be Be Winans, Whitney Houston, Trey Lorenze).

Jacob Lowery biography

Lowery grew up in a small town in Louisiana. He started playing drums at church at age five. At 12, he started taking bass lessons and fell in love with the instrument. He started doing studio sessions on both instruments at 15.

In 1997, Lowery moved to Austin, Texas, where he began playing guitar and piano, and dove into record production with several different artists. Since 2008, Lowery has been on the Nashville studio session scene. He is currently touring with Michael McDonald.

Lowery has played artists as varied as Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Mandisa, Francesca Battestelli, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Matthew West, Danny Gokey, Nichole Nordeman, Newsboys, Darlene Zchech, Israel Houghton, Dustin Smith, The City Harmonic, Burt Bacharach, Stu G, and Michael McDonald.

EU Department of Music

The Department of Music at Evangel offers a variety of degree programs, including music performance, music education, music business, recording technology and worship leadership.

The department also offers master’s degrees in music education and music performance.

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1970, the department regularly offers opportunities for students to interact with distinguished performers, composers and scholars, and to attend concerts by renowned music artists.