CD RELEASE PARTY AT THE ARK
SPIRITUALS, RAGTIME, AND BLUES!
Daniel Washington, bass-baritone
The River Raisin Ragtime Revue orchestra
with special guest Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton
Saturday, August 11 2018 8PM
The Ark 316 S. Main St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Admission $35-$50 tickets at www.theark.org
Talent abounds as celebrated bass-baritone opera singer Daniel Washington partners with the acclaimed Tecumseh-based River Raisin Ragtime Revue orchestra to celebrate the release of their new album. Special guest and rising blues star Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton will join the party, making his Ann Arbor debut. The program consists of beautiful spirituals, joyous ragtime, poignant African American popular song and early blues and jazz tunes.
Washington is currently Professor of Voice at the University of Michigan School of Music Theatre, and Dance and enjoys a distinguished career that brings him to the world’s major opera houses and concert stages. He has been featured with esteemed conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink and Charles Dutoit. Washington has been a featured soloist with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe and North America, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Opera Comique (Paris), Royal Opera Covent Garden, Hamburg Staatsoper, Stadttheater Luzern, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, and many others.
Although still in his 20s, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920's and making them wish they could stay there for good. Paxton was featured on CNN's Great Big Story and appeared in the multi award winning music documentary AMERICAN EPIC produced by Robert Redford, Jack White & T-Bone Burnett. In October and November 2018 Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton will be touring the U.S. with the musicians from this groundbreaking AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS music documentary.
Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). He has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He's a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton's sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is "virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”
The River Raisin Ragtime Revue (R4) 13-piece orchestra, led by music director William Pemberton of Tecumseh, educates and entertains audiences of all ages through performance and preservation of America’s original style of popular music. Combining exuberant music with a meticulously-researched narrative, R4 transports the audience to the cultural and social conditions of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century America. Describing R4’s music for allmusic.com, James Manheim writes, “R4’s performances have a charming lyricism and freedom that stand in contrast to the rather stiff renditions still available from the first flowering of the ragtime revival in the 1970s…they have an infectious enthusiasm for the sweet aspect of classic ragtime that so often gets lost. Highly recommended.” Fanfare Magazine states, “R4’s music is played with infectious enthusiasm…it is education, entertainment, and a sonic blast rolled into one.” The Chicago Tribune reviewed R4’s 2017 recording, “Music of Reginald R. Robinson” and called it “one of the year’s most distinctive recordings.” The Los Angeles Jazz Scene listed the CD as one of the top 30 releases of 2017.
For tickets, visit www.theark.org.