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Jazz Violinist John Blake Jr. to Appear at Free Noontime Event at Library

John Blake JrThe Lively Arts, in partnership with the IUP Libraries Mary Jane Schafer Memorial Fund, will present the second in a series of three lecture-demonstrations in Stapleton Library Commons. At noon on Thursday, February 21, 2013, jazz violinist John Blake Jr.  will discuss African American music and composers, answer questions, and present a mini-­preview of his evening performance in Gorell Recital Hall.

The free noontime event will take place in Stapleton Library in across from Java City. People are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase it at Java City.

Blake will spend the lunch hour talking about African American music and composers. He will also play a few selections as a preview to his evening performance in Gorell Recital Hall, and will answer questions from the audience.

Both the noon event and evening performance are offered in celebration of Black History Month. Blake was also in town earlier in February visiting four area public schools, conducting a public jam session, and running open rehearsals in preparation for the Gorell concert Thursday evening.

Blake will be joined for the presentation by the pianist for the John Blake Jr. Quartet, including Colombian native and one of Philadelphia's most in-demand jazz pianists, 28-year old Luke O’Reilly. Together, the two span generations of jazz and African American music, coming together in a refreshing way that demonstrates the timelessness of jazz music. The concert also features a specially selected string ensemble comprised of IUP and Indiana Area High School Students.

For the past four decades, John Blake Jr. has been a leader in the world of jazz violin and string improvisation. He has released several recordings, including Motherless Child in 2010, a distinctively original and compelling performance of several traditional African American spirituals. He is also a strong proponent of education and is a member of the faculties at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and has guest lectured at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

For more information about the noon concert, contact the associate director for arts-in-education services for the Lively Arts, Jeff Wacker, at 724-357-2787 (ARTS) or at jwacker@iup.edu.

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