PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Jazz Meets Bluegrass at Eisenhower Auditorium

The Center for the Performing Arts kicked off its 2012-13 season on Friday with a collaborative performance that showcased diverse types of music coming together as one. Sharing the stage was the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, hailing from New Orleans, and The Del McCoury Band, from Nashville. Both groups have been touring for more than 50 years, and the combined talent lit up the stage at Eisenhower Auditorium.

I’ve never seen two bands work together so skillfully, and in addition, the show was a lot of fun. Genres included jazz, bluegrass, Dixieland, blues, Cajun ballads, folk songs, and more. When you hear the full range of brass and string instruments together, the shared roots between styles is clearer than ever.

In one great moment, Jason Carter, the fiddle player, ended a solo, and Charlie Gabriel, the clarinetist, crossed over the stage smiling, inspired to trade a round of solos with him. In another song, saxophonist Clint Maedgen played the main melody of the song, but as he heard pianist Rickie Monie improv, just dropped out, listened, and smiled, letting Monie take it away.

Both bands knew how to please the crowd, whether it was sousaphone player Ronell Johnson dancing around and whipping out some crazy bass notes, or a funny song about the hundreds of guitar pickers in Nashville. At one point, Joe Lastie, the drummer, started a slowly escalating drum roll, and everyone on stage backed away from him until he exploded into an awesome solo. Though all of the musicians were extremely talented, I have to single out Ronnie McCoury, who led the Del McCoury band on some of his original songs featuring the mandolin. You can hear a sample of his fast-picking, energetic style here, but it can only really be done justice in person.

The concert was a great way to kick off the Center for the Performing Art’s 2012-13 season — talented artists having fun making incredible music together. In the program, the notes explain that Preservation Hall’s mission is to welcome people “interested in one of the last pure music experiences left on Earth,” and Friday’s lively show did just that.

About the Author

Alex Federman

Alex is a Senior at Penn State who enjoys watching movies and television shows (probably a bit too much). He's a Film/Video major, with a Spanish minor.


State College Links
More by Alex

From Pawnee to State College: Nick Offerman to Kick Off SPA LateNight

Comedian Nick Offerman, well-mustached star of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” (and professional woodworker), will kick off a semester of SPA events performing in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Senior Column: The Man Behind the Twitter

The Blue and White Film Festival Highlights the Best in Student Films


Big Ten Announces 2018-2019 In-Conference Hoops Matchups

The 2018-2019 season will feature a 20-game in conference schedule for the first time.

From Manager To Walk On: Penn State Softball’s Ashton Mensinger Enjoying Unexpected Opportunity

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Maryland 13-8

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse’s Ryan Keenan Selected In MLL Draft

Penn State Baseball Snaps Eleven-Game Losing Streak Against Mount St. Mary’s

Student Life

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Creamery ‘Brew And White’ Iced Coffee Now Available

Be A Part Of The 2018 Senior Class Photo Inside Beaver Stadium

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Blue-White 2018 Prop Bets

Step right up and place some bets, folks!

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Send this to a friend