April 11, 2018

6–7:30 p.m.

Williams Research Center
410 Chartres Street

This event is sold out

Clarinetist George Lewis (1900–1968) remains among the most influential and widely imitated of all traditional jazz musicians. Lewis’s musical career began in the early 1920s, playing with Buddy Petit, Henry “Red” Allen, the Eureka Brass Band, the Olympia Orchestra, and his own ensemble. In 1942, he made a series of recordings with trumpeter Bunk Johnson that helped launch a revival of interest in traditional New Orleans jazz and garnered Lewis worldwide recognition. Numerous international tours and recordings followed, and Lewis quickly became a central figure of the traditional-jazz revival, playing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from 1961 until his death. Lewis’s style was marked by rhythmic arpeggios, scale fragments, and inventive melodic phrases—all driven by his rich “singing” tone and genuine deep expression.

Dr. Michael White will discuss Lewis’s life, music, and legacy, accompanied by performances from White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band. The musical selections will be drawn from the various marches, blues, hymns, and popular songs that Lewis played throughout his career, such as “Bugle Boy March,” “What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” “Over The Waves,” and Lewis’s own compositions “Burgundy Street Blues” and “St. Philip Street Breakdown.”

This event is sponsored by the Derbes Family Foundation.

Reservations will be held until five minutes prior to the start of the program. Any reserved seats unclaimed at that time will be released to the public.