Special Guests Join North Carolina Symphony for a Little "Blues in the Night," May 6-7


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RALEIGH, N.C.—Bluesmen Corey Harris and Phil Wiggins, sopranos Tina Morris-Anderson and Rozlyn Sorrell and other special guests take center stage with the North Carolina Symphony next month for a fast-paced journey through the history of American blues and jazz. Led by Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, “Blues in the Night" takes place at Meymandi Concert Hall, in downtown Raleigh's Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, on Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, at 8:00 p.m.

A guitarist, songwriter and performer leading the contemporary revival of country blues, Corey Harris is a powerful and compelling singer whose artistry is complemented by serious explorations of blues and reggae history. He is joined by harmonica virtuoso Phil Wiggins, himself a long-time blues favorite who has worked with the likes of Archie Edwards, John Jackson, Wilbert “Big Chief" Ellis and a legendary collaboration with John Cephas that began in 1976 and garnered the W.C. Handy Awards for Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year and Blues Entertainers of the Year.

Together they will bridge the gap in an evening of diverse, homegrown sounds. Concertgoers will travel the exciting history of a distinctly American art form, from classic tunes by pioneering American composers George Gershwin, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin and Morton Gould to gospel numbers including “Precious Lord, Take My Hand"—songs that were inspirations not only for their content but for their musical vitality—to the work of blues and jazz legends like Duke Ellington.

“One of the great gifts that America has given the world has been its music," says Curry about this unique concert lineup. “The mix of European art music and American folk music infused symphonic works with ragtime, jazz and the blues, so-called third stream music. The popularity of this genre makes it, to me, the American orchestral music most likely to endure the test of time, by reflecting the diversity of the American experience."

Curry will be aided in this musical tour-de-force by the stellar talents of several of the North Carolina Symphony's favorite collaborators, including sopranos Tina Morris-Anderson and Rozlyn Sorrell and North Carolina Central University Director of Jazz Studies Ira Wiggins, on saxophone.

Regular tickets to the Fidelity Investments Pops Series performances of “Blues in the Night" on Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, range from $30 to $60, with $30 tickets for seniors and $10 tickets for students. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children. The orchestra travels extensively throughout the state to communities in over 50 North Carolina counties. Under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians.

Based in downtown Raleigh's spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area and holds additional concerts in venues across the state throughout the year.

For tickets, program notes, podcasts—or just to get to know your Symphony musicians—visit the North Carolina Symphony Web site at ncsymphony.org. Call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724. The State of North Carolina has issued your Symphony an $8 million challenge.

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