Educated Guess’ bassist Alvin Carlisle delivered with a night full of funky basslines on April 4. Educated Guess was full of energy playing their groovy jazz-funk fusion tracks from their 2023 EP “SHIFT!”
Educated Guess’ bassist Alvin Carlisle delivered with a night full of funky basslines on April 4. Educated Guess was full of energy playing their groovy jazz-funk fusion tracks from their 2023 EP “SHIFT!”
Sam Fleming

Educated Guess debuts at Appalachian Theatre

A couple hours before their debut performance, Educated Guess hung out backstage at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country to share their story and inspirations. Starting as members of a church band, Alvin Carlisle, Nick Williams and Kendrick Davis began Educated Guess — a local jazz and funk fusion band — two years ago as a way to express their passion for music. 

Taking inspiration from iconic names in the sub-genre like George Duke and Herbie Hancock, the trio blends their different styles to make beats that truly make you want to get up and dance.

Educated Guess’s music transcends genres and captivates listeners with unique melodies and intricate beats. The trio brings a palpable sense of excitement and joy, whether playing onstage or hanging out in the green room. 

All three members of the band have been playing music for their whole lives and wanted to take their appreciation for jazz to make something that could reach as many people as possible.

“If you can get somebody to dance and give them a good experience then they’re gonna want to be interested,” Williams said. 

Caroline Gotforth, a junior music composition and theory major in the Hayes School of Music, was their opener at their show on April 4. Gotforth has been studying jazz for two years and draws much of her inspiration from Stevie Wonder, Laufey and Samara Joy. 

“Music has always been my favorite thing ever,” Gotforth said. “I always get this sort of high from it.”

People of all ages eagerly filed into the theater for the performance, creating a charged atmosphere in the room. As the lights dimmed to signal the start of the show, the audience gave a round of applause and Gotforth took the stage for her solo performance. 

Gotforth opened the show with a cover “Nearness of You,” displaying masterful piano and soulful vocals that captured the audience. Following their opener, Gotforth stunned the crowd with covers of “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees and “For Your Love” by Stevie Wonder, as well as other personal favorites of hers, each being met with thunderous applause and cheers.

After the heartfelt performance, the App State junior received a standing ovation, warming up the audience for Educated Guess. As more people continued to fill the theater, there was an air of excitement in anticipation for the headliners.

From the opening song, the crowd was bumping and clapping along with the trio, matching the energy Educated Guess brought to the stage. The absolutely electric-feeling guitar by Carlisle, heart-thumping drum solos by Davis and smooth piano from Williams combined for a stellar performance of original songs that had audience members getting up from their seats to dance along. 

The energetic conclusion of the performance was met with another well-deserved standing ovation and thunderous applause from the audience. 

For those interested in listening more, the link to their latest release can be found here

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