Earl Wooten

“Here in the country, people really want to have music that touches them,” says composer Earl Wooten, who grew up in Maysville. He credits his family and church with encouraging the musical interests that eventually led to a move to Los Angeles, where he writes music for films.

As a piano accompanist for the North Carolina Spiritualaires beginning in the ninth grade, he learned firsthand the passion behind the music. He learned jazz improvisation from a retired musician who had returned to Greene County from New York. He was influenced by these early experiences, realizing that what people care about is the feelings music brings.