International Conference on the Blues

Joining President LaForge is Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor of music and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues.

Delta State wrapped up its fourth annual International Conference on the Blues last week, and there is little doubt the conference continues to grow and attract top-notch blues scholars and aficionados from across the country. This year’s conference concluded with a performance by GRAMMY® award winner Aaron Neville and had a two-part theme:  John Lee Hooker’s centennial birthday celebration in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi and an exploration of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s collection of Mississippi Delta blues and gospel recordings.

Other highlights included live music by Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, Marquise Knox, and Jontavious Willis; fascinating academic presentations and panels; and, a keynote address from Dr. John Szwed. Dr. Szwed, a leading authority on Lomax’s life and work, won the 2006 GRAMMY Award for Best Album Notes for “Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings.” This box set is based on Lomax’s interviews with jazz great Jelly Roll Morton.

In other news on campus, the Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series returns tomorrow with Dr. Rod Paige, the former United States Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush. The event is set for 6 p.m. in the E.R. Jobe Hall Auditorium. Dr. Paige will be speaking on the future of higher education in America, and it is certain to be an informative and enlightening presentation.

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