THE DEL McCOURY BAND PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND ThuRsDAy, APRIL 14 â€“ 7:30 p.m.
Tradition, history, stability...style. Bank where you belong and you can follow your tune wherever it takes you. Weâ€™re here to back you up. Douglas County Bank, Really Gets It. This event is sponsored, in part, by the Lied Performance Fund. This performance was made possible through the generous support of the Clyde and Marty Nichols Performing Arts Fund. Audio description services and recorded program notes are provided through a partnership between the Lied Center and Audio-Reader Network. Please turn off or silence cellular phones and other electronic devices during performances. Food and drink are not allowed inside the hall. Cameras and lied.ku.edu Performing Arts recording devices are strictly prohibited in the auditorium.
American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band Tonight’s program will be announced from the stage. This 1 hour 50 minute concert will include one 20-minute intermission.
THE DEL McCOURY BAND Vince Gill says it simply, and maybe best: “I’d rather hear Del McCoury sing Are You Teasing Me than just about anything.” For more than 50 years, McCoury’s music has defined authenticity for hard core bluegrass fans—count Gill among them—as well as a growing number of fans among those only vaguely familiar with the genre. The good news for those new fans…McCoury is still forging new paths. “It gives hope to everybody—50 years is a long time to be playing music in any field,” says another fan, Elvis Costello. “But to keep the purity that you need to do this kind of music, and the drive and the energy…takes a special kind of guy.” And indeed, McCoury is something special, a living link to the days when bluegrass was made only in hillbilly honkytonks, schoolhouse shows and on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, yet also a commandingly vital presence today, from prime time and latenight talk show television to music festivals where audiences number in the hundreds of thousands. “Here’s a guy who has been playing for 50 years, and he’s still experimenting—still looking to do things outside the box, to bring other kinds of music into bluegrass form,” says Americana music icon Richard Thompson, who saw his 1952 Vincent Black Lightning turned into a bluegrass standard when McCoury brought it into the fold. “I think that’s the best bluegrass band, period. That’s it.” Born in York County, Pa. 70 years ago, McCoury would once have seemed an unlikely candidate for legendary status. Bitten hard by the bluegrass bug when he heard Earl Scruggs’ banjo in the early 1950s—“everybody
else was crazy about Elvis, but I loved Earl,” he says with a chuckle—McCoury became a banjo picker himself, working in the rough but lively Baltimore and D.C. bar scene into the early 1960s. He got his first taste of the limelight when he joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in early 1963; the father of bluegrass moved McCoury from the banjo to guitar, made him his lead singer, and gave him a lifetime’s worth of bluegrass tutelage direct from the source in the course of little more than a year. But rather than parlay his gig with the master into a fulltime career of his own, he returned to Pennsylvania in the mid-1960s to provide steady support for his new and growing family. Within a few years, McCoury had settled into work in the logging industry—and formed his own band, the Dixie Pals. For the next decade and a half, he piloted the group through a part-time career built mostly around weekend appearances at bluegrass festivals and recordings for labels ranging from the short-lived and obscure to roots music institutions like Arhoolie and Rounder Records. And while there were the inevitable personnel changes and struggles to contend with, McCoury was also building a songbook filled with classics remade in his own image and a growing number of originals—songs like High On A Mountain, Are You Teasing Me, Dark Hollow, Bluest Man In Town, Rain And Snow, Good Man Like Me, Rain Please Go Away and more—that would become an important part of his legacy in years to come. The first big sign of change came in 1981, when McCoury’s 14 year old son, Ronnie,
American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
joined the Dixie Pals as their mandolin player. Banjo playing younger brother Rob came on board five years later, and by the end of the decade, the three McCourys were ready to make a move. “We came to Nashville in 1992,” Ron recalls, “and it was dad’s idea. He’d been watching bluegrass on TNN—Bill Monroe, the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse—and thought that it was the place to be, that we’d have a new outlet there, where we could get some more attention. And without a doubt, moving to Nashville and just going for it turned out to be really big.” In 1994 the quintet began an astonishing streak of top entertainer of the year honors that would net them nine trophies in an 11 year stretch—along with ongoing honors for Ronnie (eight straight mandolin player of the year awards), fiddler Jason Carter (three fiddle player of the year trophies), and a wide array of projects featuring McCoury and the ensemble. Though the 1990s propelled The Del McCoury Band to the top of the bluegrass world, the decade also gave birth to a more startling phenomenon: the emergence of the group onto the larger musical scene as a unique torchbearer for the entire sweep of bluegrass and its history. For it turned out that the unmistakable authenticity of McCoury’s music—along with his good-natured willingness to keep alert for new sounds and new opportunities—had bred fans in some unlikely places. That bluegrass-bred stars like Gill and Alison Krauss (who first met McCoury at a bluegrass festival when she filled in for a missing fiddler of his) would sing his praises wasn’t surprising, but who would have expected country-rock icons like Steve Earle or jam bands like the supremely popular Phish to have joined in the chorus? “Jon Fishman, the drummer for Phish, told me that they did an article on him for a drum magazine,” McCoury says. “They asked him what were some of his early influences, and he told them that one of them was Don’t Stop the Music, a record I put out back at the beginning of the 1990s.” By the second half of the 1990s, the acclaim—and McCoury’s open-mindedness—put the McCourys in onstage jams with Phish and on the road and in the studio with Earle, bringing The Del McCoury Band’s fierce musicianship and its leader’s instantaneous, easygoing connection with listeners to new arenas. The group appeared on prime time television and began an ongoing series of visits to popular
late-night television talk shows, toured rock clubs and college campuses, and found itself welcome at country and even jazz-oriented music festivals and venues. Yet even as it reaches out to almost unimaginable audiences, McCoury’s music retains its signature characteristic. “What I most admire about someone like Del,” says Gill, “is that he’s one of the last patriarchs that really played the music in its authentic way. And even though he’s willing to bend a little bit, to be out there playing at jam band festivals and things like that, it doesn’t sound like what the new people do with bluegrass. He’s done a great job of bringing new songs into the fold, but when he sings them they sound like 1959 or 1962 again. It still has the element of his voice, and the authenticity of it never goes away, never changes. And even after doing it for 50 years, he’s at the top of everybody’s list of what’s going on today with bluegrass.” The fifth decade of that half-century of music making has been filled with new and ongoing triumphs. The Del McCoury Band has shown unprecedented stability, with but a single change in membership in 15 years; its namesake earned membership in the cast of the legendary Grand Ole Opry in 2003, and the Band earned its first best bluegrass album Grammy Award two years later; it traveled with the groundbreaking post-O Brother Down From The Mountain tour, performed and recorded (on his Grammy Award-winning These Days) with Gill and with country star Dierks Bentley; it has made multiple appearances at the spectacular Bonnaroo Music Festival and launched an impressively popular annual New Year’s Eve show at the Ryman Auditorium, where McCoury first appeared on the Opry with Bill Monroe some 46 years ago. Perhaps most importantly, McCoury took an almost unprecedented step in 2003 when he took control of his own music by creating the McCoury Music label, home to that Grammy Award-winning album along with a select set of releases by The Del McCoury Band, country icon Merle Haggard and more. More recently, in 2008, DelFest was born and has quickly grown into one of the premier music events on the east coast. In 2009, McCoury received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Arts Award and was named a National Heritage Fellow by the NEA.
THE PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The Band has traveled worldwide spreading its mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current Director, Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band and record label. The building that houses Preservation Hall has housed many businesses including a tavern during the War of 1812, a photo studio and an art gallery. It was during the years of the art gallery that then owner, Larry Borenstein, began holding informal jam sessions for his close friends. Out of these sessions grew the concept of Preservation Hall. The intimate venue, whose weathered exterior has been untouched during its history, is a living embodiment of its original vision. To this day, Preservation Hall has no drinks, air conditioning, or other typical accoutrements strictly welcoming people of all ages interested in having one of the last pure music experiences left on the earth. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band began touring in 1963 and for many years there were several bands successfully touring under the Preservation Hall name. Many of the Band’s charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early 20th century including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Bunk Johnson. Band leaders in the Band’s history include the brothers Willie and Percy Humphrey, husband and wife Billie and De De Pierce, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barrett and in the modern day, Wendell and John Brunious. These founding artists and dozens of others passed on the lessons of their music to a younger generation who now follow in their footsteps like the current lineup.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is: Ben Jaffe (creative director, tuba) is the son of co-founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe. Jaffe has lived his whole life with the rhythm of the French Quarter pulsing through his veins. Raised in the company of New Orleans’ greatest musicians, Jaffe returned from his collegiate education at Oberlin College in Ohio to play with the group and assume his father’s duties as director of Preservation Hall. Today he serves as creative director for both Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Hall itself, where he has spearheaded such programs as the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund. Mark Braud (trumpet, vocals) is nephew to two former Preservation Hall Jazz Band leaders, Wendell and John Brunious, Jr., and is proud to further his family’s musical legacy in the company of so many historic players. Beginning his career playing with the Olympia Kids, a young players’ offshoot of the famous Olympia Brass Band, Braud has gone on to record, tour and play with New Orleans legends of both traditional jazz and rhythm and blues, including Eddie Bo, Henry Butler, Harry Connick Jr. and Dr. Michael White. Charlie Gabriel (clarinet, vocals) has a musical heritage that can be traced back as far back as the 1850s. Great-grandson of New Orleans bass player Narcesse Gabriel, grandson of New Orleans cornet player Martin Joseph and son of New Orleans drummer and clarinetist Martin Manuel Gabriel, Charlie is truly a living legend. At 76 years old, the extensive list of musicians with whom he’s played includes wellknown Preservation Hall Jazz Band alumni Kid Howard, Kid Sheik, Jim Robinson and George Lewis. Clint Maedgen (saxophone, vocals) is best known as leader of multimedia alt.cabaret group The New Orleans Bingo! Show, but he has also been in love with the sound of traditional New Orleans jazz since he was a small child. After studying with clarinet innovator Alvin Batiste at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Maedgen returned to New Orleans’ French Quarter where he cemented his reputation as an artist and collaborator
American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
through an ongoing series of eclectic and experimental musical ensembles. As a full-time member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, he brings an infectious passion to both his playing and singing. Joe Lastie, Jr. (drums) was born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward, and comes from a long line of artists dedicated to music and the church. Having played his first job with a rhythm section backing the Desire Community Choir, Lastie studied jazz with Willie Metcalf at the Dryades Street YMCA with classmates Wynton and Branford Marsalis. After a brief move with his family to Queens, New York, Lastie returned to New Orleans where he was invited to substitute on drums at Preservation Hall in 1989. He’s been a regular with the Band ever since. Freddie Lonzo (trombone, vocals) was born and raised in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhoods, and was exposed to the music of the streets at a very young age. Having cemented
his desire to play New Orleans jazz, early Second Line parades later offered him his first professional gig with EG Gabon and Doc Paulin’s Band. A true master of every style of New Orleans music, from marching brass to modern jazz, Lonzo’s first appearances with Preservation Hall date back to the mid-1980s when he toured and played with Percy Humphrey and Kid Sheik. Rickie Monie (piano) was born and raised in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward to jazz loving church musicians. Monie was inundated at an early age with the recordings of such great jazz and gospel pianists as Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and Teddy Wilson. After majoring in woodwind instruments at Dillard University, Monie returned to the piano and picked up work in every style of music. In 1982, Monie got his first call from Preservation Hall to substitute for the legendary resident pianist Sweet Emma Barret after she suffered a stroke. To the delight of audiences around the world, Monie’s stayed onboard ever since.
Building opportunities at the Lied Center This is an exciting time at the Lied Center. With the newly expanded lobby space and a nearly-completed 2,400 square foot pavilion addition, the possibilities for community engagement, education and contextual activities related to the performing arts have just soared.
“The performances are just one part of what we do at the Lied Center,” said Executive Director Tim Van Leer. “Education and community involvement are also essential to the Lied Center, and essential to the performing arts.” Not only has the lobby—now named the Kemper Foyer—expanded to double its former size, the new pavilion is well on its way to be ready for the 2011-12 season. “The Kemper Foyer is such a peoplefriendly space now with so much potential. The additional area has already helped with growing the performing arts experience; we’ve held pre- and post-performance discussions and look forward to all the possibilities of the new pavilion,” Van Leer said. The new pavilion will bring unrivaled arts opportunities and experiences to Lawrence. A multipurpose space, the pavilion will become a destination for visiting and local artists to engage with the community in Lied
Center forté education and engagement programs including intimate concerts, lectures, discussions, workshops, master classes, seminars, exhibitions and a lot more. “The new pavilion will be a great resource for forté education programs,” said Director of Education Anthea Scouffas. “With the planned technological capabilities of the space, the Lied Center would be able to reach classrooms throughout the state of Kansas with master classes, lecture/demonstrations and even some performances.” The pavilion will also increase the possibilities for Friends of the Lied to enjoy the performing arts, interact with performing artists and with each other. “There’s never been a better time to be, or become a Friend of the Lied,” said Director of Development Megan Poindexter. “The new pavilion will create opportunities for special events—exclusively for Friends of the Lied—to learn more about Lied Center performing artists and gain a deeper experience of what the arts have to offer.” These exciting changes at the Lied Center are made possible by generous gifts from the Lied Foundation Trust, Christina Hixson, trustee and the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank, trustee.
American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Friends of the Lied Update This list includes individuals and businesses that have initiated or renewed their Friends of the Lied membership since the original list was published.
BUSINESS FRIENDS Benefactor ($1,000+) Biggâ€™s Barbecue Patron ($500+) Capital City Bank Commerce Bank The Chiropractic Experience Sponsor ($250+) Orchards Drug Dr. Jim & Vickie Otten Piersol Foundation, Inc. Friend ($100+) 715 Restaurant First State Bank and Trust Hamm, Inc. Laser Logic, Inc. Maceliâ€™s Mariscos Petefish, Immel, Heeb and Hird, LLP
INDIVIDUAL FRIENDS Benefactor ($1,000+) Ken & Katie Armitage Keith & Karen Ely Becky & Harry Gibson Jeannot & Todd Seymour Patron ($500+) Nancy & Ray Allen Karen & Dennis Christilles
Chris & Kaye Drahozal Francois Henriquez & Laura Stephenson Charlotte A. Mueller Sponsor ($250+) Steve & Bobbie Gish Larry & Susan Krische Margaret Mahoney Lucy Price G.E. & Ruth Rutledge Margery Smith Judy & Jack Wright Robert & Barbara Wunsch Contributor ($100+) Jan-Eric & Cara Anderson Lynn M. Bretz John H. Bushman Alice Clayton & Bob Honea Carladyne Knox Conyers Doug & Becky Eason Sharon Graham & Anthea Scouffas Cap & Kitty Gray Ted & Nancy Haggart Kent & Brenda Hatesohl Kristin & Blake Hedges Russ & Jackie Hilton C. Shaffia Laue Fernando Merino & Caroline Chaboo Jerry & SanDee Nossaman Alejandro & Claudia Padilla Chris & Amy Phalen Mary Miller Ross
Mary Ann & Norman Saul Joe & Nita Scales Barbara & Richard Schowen Gary Schwartzkopf Fred & Lilian Six Steve & Jung Spooner Steve & Pat Sublett Frances Van Blaricum Arnold Weiss Sandra & Allen Wiechert Friends ($50+) Frank & Betty Baron Elaine & Virgil Brady Rex Buchanan Susan Bullock Jerry & Kathy Clausing Willis Charles & Mary Cornwell Dr. Mark & Gretchen Edwards Cheri Esmond Diane Frankenfield Sheri & Alex Hamilton Alan & Lareeda Hickey Christine Kenney Ellen Loomith Charles & Laurie McLane-Higginson Terry & Mary Beth Miller Edward K. Morris Susan F. Morris Dr. Mill & Polly Spencer Carol Thompson Sara Trautman-Yenenoglu Lorie Vanchena Alice M. Weis
A salute to our VIP Sponsors
We proudly recognize our very important partners. Not only do our VIP Sponsors offer essential financial contributions, they also provide valuable and enthusiastic promotion of Lied Center performances to their customers, employees and the community. Their commitment to the performing arts allows us to provide education activities, free school performances and high-quality events each year. We honor our VIP Sponsors throughout the season on our electronic sign and with onstage recognition at their selected performances. We hope you will also thank them when you visit their businesses. For more information regarding our sponsorship program, contact the Lied Center Director of Development, Megan Poindexter, at 785-864-2788.
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THE ELDRIDGE & THE OREAD American Legacies: The Del McCoury Band & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Fiddler on the Roof
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A salute to our Media Sponsors Media sponsors provide important underwriting for Lied Center performances. Their contributions give invaluable support for advertising, promotions and marketing. For information on becoming a media sponsor, please call 785-864-2794.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
An Evening with Garrison Keillor
William Ingeâ€™s Bus Stop