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Taking Note: Zappa center of UNT music event

April 6, 2012

By Kathy Edwards McFarland
Denton Jazz Chronicles Blog writer and editor

This begins a series of University of North Texas College of Music “liner notes” encompassing a few of the projects and performances scheduled (and the people involved) for the remainder of April 2012.

UNT College of Music

A major portion of this blog must be dedicated to the history and influence, innumerable ensembles, Lab Bands, faculty and scheduled live performances through the UNT College of Music and its Jazz Studies Division – my apologies for paying short shrift to this prominent arena.

In celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, please remember Jazz Studies Division students are currently performing in their respective recitals, whether individually, or in ensemble or Lab Band work.

Check http://music.unt.edu/performances or http://jazz.unt.edu/calendar

  • Monday, April 16 – About 20 students (from a class of 60) of the Music of Frank Zappa class will perform the works of legendary guitarist at Zappa Unlocked: The Mars/Barrow Connection, 8 p.m. in Voertman Hall (UNT Music Building.) Admission is free. Featured artists are guitarist Arthur Barrow (UNT Class ’75) and keyboardist Tommy Mars – both played with Frank Zappa.

“You better get there early,” said Joseph Klein, Professor of Composition at the UNT College of Music, and Chair of Composition Studies. “This will be a well attended performance.”

Klein teaches this course once every three years, who gives up his regular curriculum to teach it. “It’s so much fun, I have to offer it,” he said. “Zappa is such a hard man to describe and his music spans so many genres and styles – from Jazz to ClassicalRock & Roll to experimental – that it takes a ‘long’ (Fall or Spring) semester to do it.”

According to Klein, because not everyone will be able to attend due to limited seating, he is trying to coordinate streaming the performance. “It will definitely be recorded.”

Access Live Streaming through UNT College of Music home page: http://music.unt.edu/

About Frank Zappa

Biography excerpt by William Ruhlmann

Frank Zappa


Via AllMusic.com

Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the ’90s.

His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on jazz and complicated, modern serious music, sometimes inducing orchestras to play along. As if his music were not challenging enough, he overlay it with highly satirical and sometimes abstractly humorous lyrics and song titles that marked him as coming out of a provocative literary tradition that included Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg and edgy comedians like Lenny Bruce.

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