New Orleans Piano Concert with River Eckert

As part of the ongoing Cultural Arts Presents series, the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts in downtown Gadsden will present an evening of New Orleans piano music from 14-year-old River Eckert on Friday, May 31.


Native New Orleanian River Eckert carries on the tradition of New Orleans piano music as he plays and sings favorites from such artists as Fats Domino, Dr. John, Ray Charles, Huey “Piano” Smith, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, and James Booker.

From a very young age River Eckert has been surrounded by music. Coming from a musical family, he started playing piano as a 3-year-old. He began studying classical music and his teachers urged him to start playing blues and jazz based on his natural ability to quickly grasp those styles. Now at the young age of 14 he sings and plays both in a solo piano and full band setting.

River has performed with George Porter, Jr., Stanton Moore, Reggie Scanlan, Terence Higgins, Roger Lewis, Brad Walker, Toni Dagradi, Kirk Joseph, Jason Mingledorff, Eddie Christmas, Tracy Griffin, Jeff Albert, David Torkanowsky and many others. He has performed at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Tipitina’s, The Maple Leaf, Chickie Wah Wah, French Quarter Festival, NOLA Funk Fest, Oak Street PoBoy Festival, Bayou Boogaloo, WWL Morning Show, and WWOZ Radio.

River will perform the concert as a solo act on the Hardin Center’s 9-foot concert grand piano and a special video camera will share a bird’s-eye view of the keyboard onto a large screen for the crowd as he plays.

Tickets are $10 each and individual tickets, tables of 4 seats, and tables of 8 seats are available for purchase at and at the Hardin Center. Individual tickets will be available at the door, but tables must be purchased in advance. For those not purchasing tables, general admission rows of chairs will be available. Coolers are welcome and attendees are encouraged to bring food from downtown restaurants. The doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7:30 pm.

Executive Director Tom Banks said, “I first heard River at a Fats Domino tribute show at Tipitina’s in New Orleans last fall. I was blown away by his talents for a piano player of any age, but it’s particularly remarkable to see this kind of talent in someone who is only 14-years-old.” He continued, “I knew right away that we needed to bring River to Gadsden. This will be an evening that everyone will enjoy.”

Watch videos of River performing at

To find out more, visit, email, or call (256) 543-2787. The Cultural Arts Presents series is a program of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation, Inc.


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