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DR. JOHN & HIS BAND, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE & SHEMEKIA COPELAND
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS
DR. JOHN AND THE LOWER 911
CELEBRATING THE BLUES
Sunday, October 24, 7:00 p.m.
Fairfax, Virginia, September 17, 2004—Dr. John stands alongside Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino as one of New Orleans’ all-time distinctive voices. Both his unique musical approach and his striking physical appearance encompass local African, American-Indian and Creole influences mixed in with quite a few equally exotic tributaries besides. He’s both the essence of the city’s colorful past and its evolving future. He brings his band, The Lower 91 to the Center for the Arts at George Mason University to jam – and Celebrate the Blues – with all-time blues harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite and electrifying vocalist Shemekia Copeland on Sunday, October 24, at 7:00 p.m. An artistic discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45-minutes prior to the curtain on the Hall’s Grand Tier.
For years it was the likes of Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger who lead a list of celebrities who either wanted to be guests on Dr. John’s records or – as in the case of artists as diverse as The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Mike Bloomfield, Bennie Wallace and Art Blakey – invited him to spice up their own work.
In 1972, Dr. John saluted his roots and subsequently crashed the charts with Gumbo, but it was the follow-up album, the aptly named In The Right Place, which again thrust him into both the album and singles charts with songs such as "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such A Night." The success of the album brought him concerts all over the world. Dr. John further broadened his appeal when, in 1989, he won a Grammy® for a moody duet with Rickie Lee Jones, "Makin’ Whoopee, " and again in 1992 with his album Goin’ Back To New Orleans.
The Mississippi River stretches for more than 2000 miles. It serves as the backdrop, both literally and metaphorically, for the life and times of harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. As a bluesman, Charlie has journeyed long and hard and yet never loses sight of the place that he calls home. During his career, Musselwhite has won a total of fourteen Handy Awards including two in 2002 – Best Blues Harmonica and Best Song of the Year.
Since the 1997 release of her debut CD, Turn The Heat Up (recorded when she was just 18 years old), singing sensation Shemekia Copeland has taken the music world by storm – she holds four W.C. Handy Awards, five Living Blues Awards, and a Grammy® nomination.
Born in Harlem, New York, in 1979, Shemekia came to her singing career slowly. "I never knew I wanted to sing until I got older," says Copeland. "But my dad knew, ever since I was a baby. He just knew I was gonna be a singer." Her father, the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter’s talent early on. Shemekia continues to tour the world and to win fans at every stop. She has played with Buddy Guy and B.B. King, and has shared the stage with Taj Mahal and Bill Wyman. In addition to all of Shemekia’s touring, she appeared in the major motion picture, Three To Tango, and on the CBS television series Early Edition.
The Lower 911
Herman Ernest – drums
David Barard – bass
John Fohl – guitar
Tickets for CELEBRATING THE BLUES are $34, $26, $17. Family Friendly! All children, 12 and under, half price! Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.