February 12, 2012

The Sounds of New Orleans

Few cities can claim a musical history as prodigious as that of New Orleans. Widely regarded as the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans is a musical hotbed that has produced some of the greatest musicians in history, from past legends such as Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet to current stars such as Wynton Marsalis and Trombone Shorty. This Friday and Saturday, trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling and organist Bobby Floyd join Jeff Tyzik and the RPO to bring you a slice of the New Orleans sound.

Trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling (left) is currently artistic director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and leader of his own quartet. Stripling attended the Eastman School of Music and has performed with ensembles such as the Lionel Hampton Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, as well as with over 50 different symphony and pops orchestras.

Pianist and organist Bobby Floyd (right) has performed with artists such as Ray Charles, and his soulful sound has backed artists such as Chuck Mangione, Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Mavis Staples, Gerald Wilson, and Wycliffe Gordon.

Stripling and Floyd will join the RPO for a salute to the one and only Louis Armstrong, with selections including Bourbon Street Parade, What a Wonderful World, When the Saints Go Marchin' In, Saint James Infirmary, and Basin Street Blues. Click here or below to watch Armstrong perform Basin Street Blues:

The program also pays tribute to two other New Orleans-greats: rock and roll singer/pianist Fats Domino, and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Click below for video of Fats Domino performing I'm in Love Again, followed by Mahalia Jackson performing How I Got Over:

Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18 at 8:00 PM, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets start at $15 ($10 student tickets) and are available online or by calling 454-2100.

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