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Arts & Entertainment Award-winning pianist Gordon Mote to play and sing at SMCPA Feb. 1

Gordon MoteGordon Mote, a phenomenal pianist who has overcome many challenges throughout his life, will be in concert at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12 each.

Mote was born totally blind and faced many obstacles as a young boy. His family stood strong in their faith in God and always put Christ at the center of their lives. This made a huge impact on Mote’s life and gave him the strength he needed to move forward.

At the age of three, Mote surprised his family when he sat at the piano and played “Jesus Loves Me,” with both hands and no training. It was obvious he had a God-given talent and his parents encouraged him to pursue his interest in music.

In that process, Mote became one of the first blind students in the country to mainstream into the public school system, graduating from high school with honors, while serving as band captain of his high school's award winning marching band. Throughout high school, he also dedicated himself to playing and singing on weekends in churches and wherever the opportunities were presented.

Following high school graduation, Mote received a full scholarship to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala. After spending three years at JSU, he transferred to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where he graduated with cum laude honors and a music degree.

During his time in college, he began capturing the attention of some of the music industry's brightest names.

Two days after he graduated from college, Mote was hired by Lee Greenwood as a keyboard player and background vocalist. He has gone on to share the stage with greats such as Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, and Carrie Underwood. While performing on stage with many talented vocalists, Mote also became one of the most accomplished, sought-after recording studio session players in Music City, receiving eight nominations for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year by the Academy of Country Music and won the award in 2009 and 2011.

In 2005, much to the delight of both country and gospel music fans, Mote released his debut solo recording, “If You Could Hear What I See.” The recording earned a Dove Award nomination from the Gospel Music Association for Instrumental Album of the Year. This nomination marked the first of many honors and accolades Mote has received throughout the past six years, including his most recent, the 2011 Diamond Award for Favorite Instrumentalist.

Currently, Mote travels in excess of 150 dates each year as the pianist of the Grammy Award winning Gaither Vocal Band. He also continues his career as a solo artist. His most recent album, “Songs I Grew Up Singing,” was released in the spring of 2011 and brings new life to timeless classics.

“I went back and tried to find songs that made an impact upon my life when I was growing up,” Mote explains. One of those songs was the Rusty Goodman classic, “Who Am I.”

“We also included probably one of my favorite songs, ‘Through It All,’ [by Andre Crouch]. I just had to do that one. Those lyrics have helped me through so much. It's the song that probably best conveys my testimony,” he says.

To purchase tickets to any performance at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, to get more information, or to see a schedule of coming events, go to or call (866)273-4615.

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