Suburban Blues

Richardson, Texas, might seem like a strange place for a Blues and Jazz Festival; with its wide streets, strip malls and business parks, it's pretty much the complete antithesis of the crowded Deep Ellum street corners where Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly revolutionized country blues in the '20s. But perhaps Dr. Larry D. Terry (of the University of Texas at Dallas) thought such a festival might bring the 'burb some much-needed soul. Unfortunately, Terry passed away in June of last year, but the festival he dreamed up lives on at UTD, which hosts two days of blues and jazz this weekend. Friday brings jazz historian Dan Morgenstern's Jazz in the Southwest lecture, as well as a Ray Charles tribute concert by Leroy "Hog" Cooper, a saxophonist who played in Ray's band from 1957 to 1976. Saturday features a free 2 p.m. panel discussion moderated by Dallas Morning News writer Thor "I am mighty and I will give your album a B-" Christensen, as well as the festival's main event, a performance of the acclaimed play Blind Lemon Blues, a theatrical history lesson written by folklorist Alan Govenar and actor/director Akin Babatunde, who stars as Jefferson. Evening lectures and performances kick off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday. Call 972-883-2552 for venue info.
Fri., Jan. 26; Sat., Jan. 27

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