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The Lookout | January 18, 2018

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LCC welcomes famed blues singer

LCC welcomes famed blues singer

Sarah Spohn
A&E Editor

As part of the Black History Month, LCC Student Life and the Music Department have pulled a few strings and scored an internationally known blues powerhouse to perform on campus.

Legendary blues singer Thornetta Davis will perform with the LCC Faculty Jazz Quartet on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. in Dart Auditorium.

While this isn’t the first year a jazz concert has taken place honoring Black History Month, according to LCC Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator Melissa Kaplan, it’s forecasted to be quite a memorable one.

Previous years’ guest musicians have included saxophonist Tom Jones, Flint’s famous flutist Sherm Mitchell, and Lansing’s Tia Imani Hanna.

This year, the idea for a blues singer to be featured during the jazz concert was brought up.

LCC Faculty Jazz Quartet member Ed Fedewa got in touch with his friend Thornetta Davis.

Davis has opened for music legends Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Etta James and Buddy Guy.

She’s also sung back-up for the likes of Bob Seger and Kid Rock.

The faculty quartet (Jon Gewirtz on sax, Dennis Therrian on piano, Ed Fedewa on bass) met Davis last year.

Fedewa recalled meeting the blues singer.

“I met her at the East Lansing Jazz Fest,” Fedewa said. “She sat in with the LCC Faculty Quartet at the afterglow party. That was the first time we played with her.”

Usually, the faculty group is just a quartet, but this performance will include the addition of guitarist Jeff Smith and vocals by Davis.

“Typically, their focus is all instrumental,” Kaplan said of the quartet. “So I’m eager to see what they bring out from each other in terms of having this vocalist, and having a blues focus to the concert, not strictly jazz.”

Faculty bassist Fedewa spoke about the honor of playing alongside Davis.

“We’re looking forward to playing with her because she’s a renowned singer internationally,” Fedewa said of Davis, a Detroit resident. “We look forward to the opportunity to play with her, making music together.”

And now, the reprisal performance will take place in the form of a free concert open to the public — something Kaplan is both proud of and excited for.

“It’s always great when we’re able to offer something free to the community,” Kaplan said, “something of such quality.”

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information call 517-483-1546.

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