Acclaimed musician, composer and scholar Kenn Cox will lead a series of talks and performances on the history and evolution of African American music this semester

October 6, 2008

DEARBORN / Oct. 6, 2008---Internationally-acclaimed jazz musician, composer and educator Kenn Cox will lead a series of lectures and performances exploring the historical evolution of African American music this semester at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The lecture series, which is free and open to the public, will kick off on Oct. 9 when Cox presents “Blues, the Root” at 6 p.m. in Room 1030 of the campus’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building.

Cox is the campus’s King/Chavez/Parks Visiting Professor this year. His talks are presented by the African and African American Studies Program and supported by the State of Michigan King/Chavez/Parks Visiting Professor Initiative, administered by the Office of the Provost.

“Cox has had an extraordinarily brilliant and productive career as a jazz leader, pianist and composer of music in widely diverse genres,” according to Prof. Gloria House, director of the African and African American Studies Program. “Some of the area’s most popular musicians will be invited to perform with him in this educational project, including Charlie Gabriel of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Gregory Patrick, and Dorinda Clark Cole of the Grammy-award-winning gospel group, the Clark Sisters.”

Additional talks led by Cox will include “The Gospel Truth” with Clark on Monday, Oct. 20; “New Orleans, the Cradle” with Patrick and Gabriel on Thursday, Nov. 6; and “Jazz: African American Classical Music” on Thursday, Nov. 20.

In conjunction with the lecture series, UM-Dearborn will host a traveling photo exhibit titled, “Rock, Rhythm and Soul: The Black Roots of Popular Music.” The exhibit, prepared by Indiana University’s Archives of African American Music and Culture, will be presented in the campus’s Mardigian Library. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 6 before Cox’s lecture at 7 p.m. that evening. This reception is free and open to the public.

As visiting professor, Cox will collaborate with faculty of the Music Department and African American Studies Program to enhance the regularly offered courses while offering individual mentoring opportunities to outstanding music students.

For more information, contact House at 313-593-5366 or Sharie Beard at 313-593-4925.

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CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn