Jake Wesley Rogers of ‘America’s Got Talent’ coming to W.P.
WEST PLAINS, Mo. – He may not have earned $1 million and a headlining show in Las Vegas, but “America’s Got Talent” contestant Jake Wesley Rogers will be headlining his first solo show at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, right here in the West Plains Civic Center theater.
The free performance by the 15-year-old musical phenom from Ozark, Mo., who reached the NBC talent show’s quarterfinal round earlier this summer, is being sponsored by Missouri State University-West Plains’ Student Government Association (SGA) and University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department.
“I saw Jake on ‘America’s Got Talent’ and was impressed with his talent. Then, finding out he was from Ozark, Mo., I decided to contact him on Facebook to see if he would be interested in doing a concert here, and now he’s coming!,” SGA President and Event Committee member Tony Ary said. “We think because he’s so young and talented he will appeal to the college and high school students.”
“I am very excited about visiting West Plains!,” Rogers said in e-mailed comments to the university. “This is my first real ‘solo’ show, and I’m stoked to be doing it. I also have a lot of family who live in West Plains, so that’s neat, too!”
Rogers, a sophomore at Ozark High School, has been performing since he was five. He plays piano and guitar and “has a unique ability to interpret songs and make them his own,” according to his AGT online bio.
“I taught myself music from around the age of five or 10, then I began taking guitar lessons at age 10 and piano lessons at age 12, then voice lessons at age 13,” he explained. “I still take lessons and am constantly trying to learn more!”
Rogers says he enjoys all styles of music. “As an artist, I’d probably have to say I’m more pop/rock, but I really enjoy doing jazz, acoustic and alternative,” he said. “I have a lot of favorite artists that I’ve followed and am inspired by, including Lady Gaga, Fleetwood Mac and Florence + The Machine. All of them have a really distinct style and sound that has inspired me to be a performer.”
Rogers’ talents don’t end with music. He also has studied theater, acting and dancing and has performed in the Springfield Little Theatre Y.E.S. Troupe’s productions of “Godspell, Jr.,” “Hairspray” and “High School Musical 2,” according to a published report.
His AGT journey began last October when he participated in an open audition in St. Louis, but it wasn’t until January that he received an invitation from AGT producers to be on the show and perform before judges Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. His performance of “Make You Feel My Love” earned him a trip to the next round in Las Vegas, and his rendition of “Iris” in Las Vegas propelled him to the live quarterfinal round in New York City. Although eliminated in the quarterfinals, Osbourne was impressed enough with his performance to bring him back for the show’s “Wild Card” episode Aug. 21, but he once again was eliminated from competition by viewers in the results show on Aug. 22.
Rogers hopes this is just the beginning of a long career in music. “After I graduate from high school, I plan to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston and just try to make it as an artist,” he said. “Singing and performing is the only thing I plan to do in life. Nothing else really appeals to me. But as long as I’m surrounded in music, I’ll be happy, either way!”
For more information about Rogers’ performance or any of the upcoming U/CP events, call the U/CP office at 417-255-7966 or visit wp.missouristate.edu/upc/.