The Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present famed jazz violinist John Blake Jr., along with his quartet, for a single performance on Thursday, February 21, 2013. The concert, offered in celebration of Black History Month, will be performed at 8:00 p.m. in the Gorell Recital Hall as part of the Ovations! series.
One of the world’s leading jazz musicians for over four decades, Blake established himself with global audience during his three years of recording and touring as a member of Grover Washington Jr.’s popular crossover jazz band. Next came a five-year stint in John Coltrane alumnus and seminal jazz stylist McCoy Tyner’s ensemble, where Blake mastered some of the most challenging and powerful music in jazz history, firmly identifying himself as one of the strongest string improvisers of all time.
By the turn of the millennia, Blake had begun to give lectures and workshops on college campuses as well as coauthoring, with Suzuki educator Jody Harmon J.I.M.E., the definitive beginning string jazz method book and CD in use around the world. Soon, Blake was made a member of the faculties at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, as well as being invited to be a guest lecturer at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
A four-time winner of the Down Beat Critics’ Poll Violinist Deserving Wider Recognition category, Blake was also the top jazz violinist in several Down Beat Readers’ Polls. Blake’s first recording with his current quartet, titled The Traveler, was released in 2007. With the release of Motherless Child in 2010, Blake joins a list of jazz musicians and arrangers who have mined the rich repository of the African American Spiritual songbook and created new versions of timeless and inspirational work—some solely instrumental and others featuring vocals—that pay righteous and reverent respect to the music’s illustrious heritage in a manner that is distinctively original and compelling.
In addition to his quartet, Blake and IUP string professor Stanley Chepaitis will premiere a jazz arrangement by Chepaitis. A select number of area high school string students will join several IUP string students to perform the piece with Blake and Chepaitis.
Tickets for this February 21 event are available in advance at the Hadley Union Building ticket office on the IUP campus or online at IUPTickets. Tickets remaining can be purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to the performance. Tickets are $20 regular admission, $16 for seniors and groups, and $12 for students and children.
For more information, call the Lively Arts Office at (724)-357-2787 or the HUB Ticket Office at (724)-357-1313.
Ovations! is funded, in part, by donations through the Premiere Club, business sponsorships, grants, and the IUP Student Cooperative Association. This project is also supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts through the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance.
February 21, 20138:00 p.m.Gorell Recital Hall, second floor of Sutton Hall
One of the world’s leading jazz violinists for the past four decades, John Blake Jr. will bring his quartet and energizing sound to Gorell Recital Hall. As part of the program, Blake will perform a world premiere jazz-treated arrangement of Vivaldi’s “Violin Concerto” with and by IUP’s Stanley Chepaitis.
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