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Music Americana
The Music Of Cape Breton
Rod MacDonald
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: One of North America’s most unspoiled areas, the Isle of Cape Breton, in the northeast corner of Nova Scotia, Canada, has a unique musical culture drawn from French, English, Scottish and Irish settlers, yet, somehow their music is distinctly New World. The small, close-knit population has a surprising number of musicians and singers known for their fiery fiddle tunes and songs of the fierce seas and breathtaking landscapes around them. Today, worldwide music festivals feature Cape Breton fiddlers and singers as a singular presence. Partially funded by a grant from FAU’s LLS Foundation, Rod MacDonald and fiddler Rex Blazer journeyed to Cape Breton in July 2016 to perform and refresh their knowledge from earlier such trips. Join Rod, Rex and mandolinist Bill Walach (the St. Patrick’s Day band at Paddy Mac’s in Palm Beach Gardens) for a musical journey through the tunes, songs and characters of beautiful Cape Breton.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Rod MacDonald began his career as a singer/ songwriter in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1973. He has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and has released 14 CD’s, including the 2014 releases Rod MacDonald: Later That Night and Big Tent with his band, Big Brass Bed, and recently published his first novel, The Open Mike. He performs in festivals, concerts, and clubs locally and throughout North America and Europe. He was named Best Local Acoustic Performer in Broward and Palm Beach counties by the New Times and one of the “10 Magnificent Musicians” of Palm Beach County by The Palm Beach Post. Previous Music Americana courses include, "The Birth of Rock & Roll," "The Great American Songbook," and "Mastery of the Art."

Rex Blazer (fiddle) is a founding member of the nationally known contradance band Lift Ticket, and is a veteran of several seasons as
a fiddler at the South Florida Renaissance Festival. He performs regularly with local traditional bands and with Rod MacDonald.

Bill Walach (mandolin) has been performing traditional tunes since the 1960s in New England, and has published a book of Quebec fiddle tunes and recorded a CD of experimental music for mandolin and tuba. He and Rod first played together in 1973 in Connecticut.

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Date: Monday, March 20, 2017
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $30 per event
Non-member - $35
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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