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DR. JOHN & THE LOWER 911 BAND AND THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA BRING "SPIRITUALS TO FUNK" ON NOV. 3

October 2, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WELCOMES

DR. JOHN & THE LOWER 911 BAND

AND THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA

“SPIRITUALS TO FUNK”

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at 8 p.m.

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 1, 2012 – Based on legendary Carnegie Hall concerts of the 1930s, Dr. John & The Lower 911 Band and The Blind Boys of Alabama join forces for a rousing night of jazz, blues and gospel music. Titled “Spirituals to Funk,” this unforgettable evening of American music comes to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at 8 p.m. This performance is Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 are half price when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the concert on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Dr. John, or Mac Rebennack as he is known to family and friends, first began making music in the 1950s and later became an in-demand studio musician in the 1960s, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones. In 1968, Dr. John launched his solo career as “Dr. John the Nite Tripper” with the release of his debut album, “Gris-gris,” featuring a mélange of voodoo mysticism, funk, R&B, psychedelic rock and Creole roots. He has released more than 20 albums to date and earned five Grammy Awards; he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. John performed in a number of relief concerts and released his Grammy Award-winning album, “City That Care Forgot” in 2008. In April 2012, Dr. John released his critically acclaimed album “Locked Down,” produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. “This mythical voodoo pianist-conjurer is so intertwined with the stories, secrets and rituals of New Orleans that to suggest that he is anything but the embodiment of the bayou borders on heresy,” said the Los Angeles Times in its review of this voodoo-funk throwback album, hailing it “one of the best of [Dr. John’s] career.”

Living legends of gospel music, The Blind Boys of Alabama first raised their voices together at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939. For almost 40 years, the group performed almost exclusively on the black gospel circuit, but also participated in the Civil Rights movement, performing at benefits for Martin Luther King Jr. The group’s involvement in the Obie Award-winning 1983 play, “The Gospel at Colonus,” helped bring new audiences to these remarkable artists, who are revered for their incredible longevity, diverse repertoire and a stunning collection of achievements. The Blind Boys of Alabama have since received five Grammy Awards, a Gospel Music Hall of Fame induction and a National Endowment of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, and have been invited to perform for two U.S. presidents. Over the years, The Blind Boys of Alabama have performed and recorded with numerous artists from across genres, including Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Travis, Susan Tedeschi, Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel, Prince, Lou Reed and many others. The group’s most recent album, 2011’s “Take the High Road,” is its first gospel-country album and features collaborations with country artists Jamey Johnson (who is also the album’s producer), Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack and The Oak Ridge Boys.

 

Tickets for “SPIRITUALS TO FUNK” are $23, $38 and $46. Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 half price when accompanied by an adult. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/gmucfa and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.

 

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

 

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.