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Blue, jazz saxophonist, to present concert

Barry McNamara
02/19/2010
Monmouth College’s music department will sponsor a concert by internationally known jazz saxophonist Ray Blue and his sextet on Feb. 26 at 7:30 at Faith United Presbyterian Church, 200 S. 8th St., Monmouth.

Scheduled in conjunction with the college’s observance of Black History Month, the concert is free and open to the public.

Blue’s first album, “Always With A Purpose” was recorded in 2001, and he will soon release a new jazz CD, “Classic Meeting.” He is also preparing to record a CD of spiritual music and one of African world music.

“Ray Blue has an essential saxophone quality,” wrote one reviewer, “he owns a big sound.”

Blue performs and teaches in the U.S., Europe, Africa and China. More information about the artist is available at www.rayblue.com.

“Black history is for all of us, even if we aren’t black,” said James Culver, the percussionist for Blue’s sextet and the writer and co-producer of “Music of Change,” a musical about the trials and triumphs of Africans and their descendants in America. “From the moment Africans were brought to what would become the 13 colonies that would eventually become the United States, their histories became part of the American story. They brought pasts and skills with them that helped shape the cultural, social and economic future of their new home.”

Culver continued, “While the notion of past as present may sound strange at first, if we think about it, it carries some truth. How we interpret the events that made it possible for us to be here shapes how we see where we are. As many of us invest in our own family histories to find connectedness, let us learn the lessons of all of our histories to connect more deeply with each other and the world in which we live.”