(3) Gospel/Jazz/Blues Subjects

And All That Jazz

by Randall Snyder

A survey of the development of American jazz from the late nineteenth century to the present, with special emphasis on its African American origins and the stylistic idioms of individual performers. Lectures will incorporate PowerPoint visual images with historic recordings and live demonstrations using piano and other instruments.

Getting to Know Weldon Kees Through His Songs and Lyrics

by Helen Waring Johnson

Beatrice Nebraska native Weldon Kees, known primarily for his dark poetry, was also one of the mid-century’s most versatile and artistic personalities–an abstract expressionist artist, photographer, accomplished pianist and  composer-lyricist of popular songs. Singer-Songwriter Waring Johnson discusses Kees and performs from this little known repertoire focusing on Kees’ witty, intelligent lyrics of songs written in collaboration with San Francisco clarinetist Bob Helm.

I Got the Blues, and I Can’t Be Satisfied

by C.A. Waller

What is the blues? The blues is what a blues singer sings. The blues, the first truly American art form, is not monolithic, but instead is a widely diverse and vital art form. This presentation introduces eight basic types of blues songs and gives the audience a better understanding of the forms of songs that comprise the blues. The basic historical background of each song is discussed, and audience participation is encouraged.

Lordy Lordy, Baby Baby: The Blues and Gospel Music

by John Walker

In gospel music, they say “Lordy Lordy.” In blues music, they say “Baby Baby.” This presentation explores the differences as well as the connections between the blues and gospel music, with reflections on growing up in small-town Oklahoma Methodist churches. Many musical examples from each genre are offered.

They Call It Stormy Monday: Evolution of the Blues

by Randall Snyder

Musician and composer Snyder relates the evolving history of the blues and its importance as African-American expression, as well as its seminal and continuing impact on contemporary popular music. This program is for grade nine to adult.