RICHARDSON, Texas (Dec. 14, 2006) — The first ever Blues and Jazz Festival, a vision of the late Dr. Larry D. Terry, a popular administrator at The University of Texas at Dallas, will take place Jan. 26–27 at UT Dallas. The event is scheduled to include a concert by famed saxophone player Leroy “Hog” Cooper, a theatrical performance of Blind Lemon Blues, lectures and a panel discussion. All proceeds from the festival will be donated to the Larry D. Terry Emerging Leaders Scholarship Endowment.
Terry, who was vice president of Business Affairs at UT Dallas, passed away unexpectedly in June. Prior to his death, he proposed the idea of a blues and jazz festival. Terry’s father was noted jazz and blues songwriter and guitarist Verbie Gene Terry, who was best known as “Flash” Terry. Fans also called him the “Bus Driver Bluesman” because he worked for Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority for more than 30 years. In 1988, Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon awarded Terry and his band a state of excellence award and, in 1994, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2003, Terry was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
The festival will begin on Friday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. in the university’s Conference Center with a lecture and concert. Dan Morgenstern will kick off the evening with a talk titled Jazz in the Southwest. Historian, author, editor and archivist, Morgenstern has worked in the jazz field for nearly 50 years and has received six Grammy Awards in the Best Album Notes category. He was recently nominated for a Grammy in that category for If You Got To Ask, You Ain’t Got It. Morgenstern has been the director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University since 1976. He also served as a panelist, a panel co-chair and a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Program.
Immediately following the lecture, Leroy “Hog” Cooper will give a Ray Charles tribute concert. Cooper is a baritone sax player and Dallas native who has performed and recorded with a range of artists, including David “Fathead” Newman, Hank Crawford and Ray Charles. Cooper joined the Ray Charles Band in 1957. Though he left the band in 1976 to lead his own troupe at Disney World, he continued to perform with Charles in concerts. Cooper has performed and recorded with a variety of noted musicians and bands, including The Gerald Wilson Big Band, Wayne Newton’s recording ensemble and The Righteous Brothers.
A free panel discussion featuring Morgenstern, Paul Oliver, Alan Govenar and Akin Babatunde will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m. in UT Dallas’ Jonsson Performance Hall. Thor Christensen of The Dallas Morning News will serve as moderator.
The festival will close at 8 p.m. that evening with a theatrical performance in the University Theatre. Blind Lemon Blues, written by Govenar and Babatunde, pays homage to the influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson, who emerged in the 1920’s as the biggest selling country blues singer in America. Set in New York City in 1948 at the last recording session of the legendary Huddie Ledbetter, Blind Lemon Blues combines elements of traditional blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul, doo-wop and rap to evoke the enduring legacy of Blind Lemon, portrayed by Babatunde and his contemporaries. The work explores the relationship between blues music and the spectrum of the human circumstance — from joy to pain and despair to hope.
Prior to Blind Lemon Blues, at 7 p.m., Paul Oliver, a professor at the University of Oxford in England, will give a lecture titled Pre-war African American Vernacular Music. Oliver is one of the foremost authors, researchers and scholars on the blues. The New York Times called his book, The Blues Fell This Morning, “remarkable … a definitive study in breadth and depth of the themes, backgrounds, imagery and motivation of the blues.”
Tickets for the Friday lecture and concert are $20. Tickets for the Saturday lecture and concert are $25. The combined price for both events is $40. Tickets for UT Dallas students with valid identification are $5 for each event. Ticket office hours for advance purchase are from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets using Visa, MasterCard or Discover, please call 972-883-2552.
More information about the festival is available at http://ah.utdallas.edu/season0607/terryjazzfest.htm.
For information about the many musical, arts, theatre, dance and other performances and exhibitions held throughout the year at UT Dallas, please call 972-UTD-ARTS (972-883-2787), e-mail email@example.com, or visit the School of Arts and Humanities’ Web site at http://ah.utdallas.edu/. Persons with disabilities needing special accommodations may call 972-883-2982, Texas Relay Operator: 1-800-RELAYVV.
About Larry D. Terry
Dr. Larry D. Terry, who served as UT Dallas’ vice president for Business Affairs from May 2005 until June 2006, joined the university in 2001 as a professor of public administration. He was an acclaimed author, international authority in public administration and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration. In recent years, he served as editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Public Administration Review. Under his leadership, the university launched an ambitious effort to upgrade campus facilities, making them safer, more efficient and more attractive. Improvements to the campus mall, renovations to classrooms and other buildings were among Terry’s many accomplishments.
About UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s Web site at www.utdallas.edu.