RIT Performing Artists Concert Series continues with history of blues

April 11 concert takes listeners on journey from Mississippi Delta to Tin Pan Alley

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RIT’s Performing Artists Concert Series continues April 11 with a musical journey about the history of blues.

The next installment of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Performing Artists Concert Series takes its listeners on a nostalgic journey tracing the history of blues music.

“Blues Got You: From the Mississippi Delta to Tin Pan Alley,” will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, in Ingle Auditorium, Student Alumni Union. Musicians will follow the history of blues music from its beginnings as indigenous African-American music in the Mississippi Delta more than a century and a half ago, to its emergence as a national music through much of the 20th century.

Rod Blumenau (piano, saxophone and arranging) will join Michael Lasser, host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm on WXXI-FM (91.5), along with Herb Smith (trumpet and vocals), Debbie Kendrick (blues vocals), Peter Chwazik (guitar, banjo), Paul Mastriani (drums) and Danny Ziemann (bass).

“There is no more important American music than the blues,” said David Perlman, RIT professor emeritus and founder of the Performing Artists Concert Series. “To quote Peabody Award winner Michael Lasser, ‘Though the blues stand on its own with its own history and its own continuing appeal to large audiences, it has also played an essential role in Tin Pan Alley, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, folk and gospel. It has even appeared in Broadway musicals with scores by everyone from Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer to Cy Coleman and Jason Robert Brown, and it also gave a way into the popular music business for such African-American songwriters as W.C. Handy, Spencer Williams, Clarence Williams, J. Tim Brymn, and J. Perry Bradford. It’s not an exaggeration to say that without the blues there would be no American music.’”

Tickets—$5 for students, $15 for faculty/staff/alumni and $20 for the general public—can be purchased at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center box office or at the door on concert night, if available. For Visa and MasterCard orders, call 585-475-4121. Tickets can also be purchased online at rittickets.com.

The series is presented by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts Performing Arts program.

For more information, go to www.davidigital.com/concert or contact Carl Atkins at 585-475-4439.