With finals week upon students and faculty, many jazz and blues aficionados piled into the Sexson Auditorium to get away and to hear legendary jazz vocalist Barbara Morrison on Dec. 11. Presented by professor Pete Mhunzi and the History department the evening was dedicated to students and music fans.Dedicating a smooth rendition of “You Can Make It If You Try” to students who were failing, Lermon Horton set the tone for the night.
The evening was cool and clear, but once Morrison took the stage, things began to heat up while she presented on ladies of blues and jazz.
“I’m just presenting a perspective on how women are viewed in jazz and blues,” Morrison began.
Leading the audience on a jazzy, cool and informative ride through the history of song, she made connections to some of the current artists that have kept jazz and blues alive.
Morrison, backed up by the Ebonic Blues Orchestra, brought history into the mix of evening. She sang a rendition of “My Man Done Me Wrong” which was once a message to other slaves.
“It says a man has run left, and move in tight, so master can’t see that he’s gone,” she said. The audience moved to the rhythm as Morrison gave her perspective on the music and history echoed in the songs.
Her words of wisdom for students: “There’s plenty of time, get to know yourself, get to know how you express yourself to people. Deep in the roots, the blues are there,” she said.
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