Friday, April 12, 2013

Historical Jazz Meets Historical Opelika Tonight (4/12/13)!

Champian Fulton
The Champian Fulton Quartet will perform tonight (4/12) at 7:30 PM at the Cultural Arts Center of East Alabama. See my last post for some video of Champian and her group. The concert is being presented by the Arts Association of East Alabama. This is a BYOB event. For tickets, directions and more information, visit the event page on the Arts Association's website. Join the event on the Association's Facebook page by noon today and you could win two tickets!

In a few hours, I will drive over to what used to be Miriam Brown Elementary School in the historic mill town of Opelika, Alabama. Now it's the Cultural Arts Center of East Alabama, a work-in-progress event venue with great potential, where I'll be helping my friend Rob Slocumb set up sound and lights for a jazz concert. The band will arrive, sometime around 3:00, having driven in from the town that my mother and Elvis Presley spent their first years, though not together.

We'll meet for the first time. Two in the quartet are father and daughter. The sidemen, a Japanese drummer and a Virginian double bassist, were carefully chosen from among the jazz musicians in New York City, an elite subset that in 2001 was estimated to be larger than the current population of the town where the concert will be.

The daughter leads the band, though the father is an educator who once led an institution founded by and named after a horn player, Clark Terry, who studied with Louis Armstrong himself. Still living, Terry has become a giant of the genre in his own right. The daughter grew up around him and others who learned from, walked among, and created with the people who lived and died defining jazz.

They'll try out our gear, and we'll adjust it, as best we can, to fit. Improvisers all of them, they'll make their own adjustments, and we'll hear what happens when the progeny of one kind of history reaches over to that of another, and makes music. I hope you can join us.

Performing with the Champian Fulton Quartet will be Champian Fulton on piano and vocals, Stephen Fulton on flugelhorn, Elias Bailey on bass and Takashi "TKash" Inoue on drums.

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