Concerts in the Park Fred G Bio

Fred Goodnight grew up in Pittsburgh, and used to stand outside clubs and listen to world class jazz performers until he was old enough to go inside and meet with the likes of Art Blakely, Mary Lou Williams, Ahmad Jamal and others. From those early days in high school bands and visiting clubs, Goodnight went on to study music theory at Akron University, the US Navy School of Music and, as an enlisted marine, at the Field Music School. After military service, Goodnight also attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and took on a day job as an illustrator when he graduated. For years and for up to as many as six nights a week, he also had a night job playing the drums. He was a member of several bands, traveling up and down the East Coast and through the Mid-Atlantic States.  Early in life he was influenced by the likes of James Moody (with whom he later shared the stage) and he has learned from percussionists Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones and Jimmy Cobb who all played with Miles Davis at some point in their careers. Through these influences, he started leading drumming circles, added a Brazilian flavor to some of his performances and integrated unique approaches to his drumming style.  Goodnight moved to Brevard County about 15 years. Currently, Goodnight plays at local venues, churches and special events with both local and visiting musicians and still travels.  When performing, Goodnight says his goal is “to be fully present and feel joy and happiness in what I do. And, I want people to come away from the performance feeling uplifted.”