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Presenting programs for LLS
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Music Americana: In Search of Greatness
Rod MacDonald
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:  From sheer talent, pioneering a new direction, or outselling all their rivals, a few artists are widely regarded as the foremost practitioners of their art. Their songs are legendary through the years, their styles are imitated but never surpassed, and their triumphs and losses are the subject of intense media coverage. From the voices that lifted Sinatra above the pack and Elvis above the swivel-hipped rockers, to the heavenly sound of the Eagles; from the emotional connection of Edith Piaf and Aretha Franklin to the profound poetry of Joni Mitchell; from the Oscar-winning farces of Mel Brooks to the self- examinations of Stephen Sondheim, great artists inspire us in our time, and set the gold standard for future generations of musical performers. We will examine the work, biographies and enduring importance of these musical artists, and attempt to sort myth from reality, using updated videos and excerpts from feature films, live performances and even include a few surprises.

1. The Golden Voice: Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine
2. The Art of Confession: Edith Piaf, Joni Mitchell
3. The Kings of Rock & Pop: Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson
4. The Queens of Blues & Soul: Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce
5. The Jokers: Groucho Marx, Allen Sherman, Mel Brooks
6. The Great Bands: The Rolling Stones, The Eagles
7. Shoot Out The Lights, Part 2: Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber
8. Still On Top: Willie Nelson, James Taylor
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 fourteen 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.  

Time: 4:15 pm - 6:00 pm
Date: Wednesdays, January 13, 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 2
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member advance registration - $74
Door price member/non-member - $110

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