Iconic jazz musician comes to USM
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 23:02
Southern Miss will be hosting a world-renowned New Orleans jazz musician on campus this week, and the event is free and open to all students.
Doreen Ketchens, who has been called a “musical legend” by many, will be hosting the concert tonight at 6:30 in the Thad Cochran Center Ballroom 1.
The event will kick off with an interactive workshop and lead into a concert in which Ketchens will demonstrate her famed jazz clarinet skills that often can be heard on the corner of St. Peter’s and Royal St. in the heart of New Orleans.
“She seems very unusual to me as the clarinet is not a common jazz instrument today,” said Dr. Joseph Brumbeloe, professor of Music Theory. “It is a throwback to an older New Orleans.”
Ketchens’, also known as the “Clarinet Queen” has shared her bit of an old New Orleans with seven different countries and four different Presidents. When back home in the Big Easy she keeps to her roots teaching students of all ages and skill the intricacies of jazz, as well as maintaining her presence in the city and on occasion cooking for her fans.
“New Orleans is different from other cities,” said Brumbeloe, “There is a maintenance of tradition.”
The event itself was put together with the help of Dr. Edward Hafer, professor of Musicology. “In the fall I take the Music History Honors class to New Orleans,” said Hafer, “and part of that trip is seeing Doreen play.”
Despite her global scale, she proved very approachable. “I said hey would you be interested in coming here?” asked Hafer. “And she was.”
After agreeing, Ketchens came with a condition. She wanted to hold an interactive workshop before the actual concert. Insight into this segment of the event can be found on Ketchen’s official website.
“Our mission is to educate through interacting with our audiences. The workshops are jam packed with information through demonstration of Jazz Funerals, Mardi Gras Indian chants, and the origins of the traditional music from Camp Meetings and spirituals through the French, Latin and Caribbean influences to today’s Funky Traditional and Street Jazz”
Despite her credentials and renown, Ketchen choices to entertain the masses on her corner outside of Rouse’s Market. “That’s the magic of New Orleans,” said Hafer, “You go corner to corner and never know who you’ll run into.”
For more information about Doreen and her music, visit her website at www.doreensjazz.com.