Jazz, blues, rock, gospel kick off Project Humanities events

September 2, 2011

American music and the way in which it helps define human dimensions will take center stage during the fall kickoff of Project Humanities at Arizona State University. A weeklong celebration of jazz, blues, rock, gospel and more begins Sept. 13. Special performances and discussions are also planned. Local talent, including blues icon Bob Corritore, and leading scholars such as Mississippi blues expert William R. Ferris, will be featured in the universitywide initiative.

“In a world that is often too complicated for us to know the answers to all of the questions, the humanities give us the tools to make sense of who we are, where we are, why we are here,” said Neal A. Lester, coordinator of Project Humanities and dean of humanities in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Download Full Image

“ASU launched Project Humanities last semester with a goal to engage students, faculty, staff and the community in conversations about the impact of everyday humanities in action,” said Lester. “To kick off the fall activities we are celebrating music to reinforce the Project Humanities effort to explore the multitude of ways in which human experiences are shared. There is a clear sense that music – with or without words – connects us and defines our human experience in ways that other forms of creative expression do not.”

Among the first of the events is a multimedia concert performance by the Langston Hughes Project at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in Old Main Carson Ballroom on ASU’s Tempe campus. This performance of the Langston Hughes kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite “Ask Your Mama” is an homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad in the early 1960s. The performance features the Ron McCurdy Quartet and acclaimed Valley storyteller Fatimah Halim.

“When I saw a version of this program at ASU some years ago, I was blown away by the impact the performance had on the audience. Folks smiled, laughed, and were sometimes in tears,” said Lester. “It is a performance that teaches as it entertains and delivers a punch that folks will remember for a long time.”

Closing out the Project Humanities kickoff week is a special Saturday musical performance and conversation titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” It features local talent including the Scottsdale Chorus, and groups Audacity and Redeemed, as well as the McHenry Singers. Terry Hummer and Billy Cioffi as AmeriCamera will blend poetry and rock during the 3-5 p.m. event on ASU’s Tempe campus in Old Main Carson Ballroom.

“The Saturday lineup is very diverse and we hope that the audience will be equally diverse. We hope that folks will enjoy the music, the singing, and the conversation that punctuate these diverse performances with historical context and social context,” said Lester.

Other events are scheduled for the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus and the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. Most of the events are free and all are open to the public. The schedule for the fall kickoff is below. Additional information about these and other activities scheduled throughout the fall semester are online at http://humanities.asu.edu.

Native American Music and Dance
6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 13, Civic Park, ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.
Estun Bah with flutist and world champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan will be performing.

The Langston Hughes Project “Ask Your Mama”
7:30-9 p.m., Sept. 13, Old Main Carson Ballroom, ASU Tempe campus.
Multimedia concert performance of the Langston Hughes kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite – “Ask Your Mama.” An homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad in the early 1960s. Featuring acclaimed Valley storyteller Fatimah Halim.

BLUES @ the MU
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Sept. 14, Memorial Union North Plaza Stage, ASU Tempe campus.
Performance by the Blues Review Band, featuring Mike (Bluesman) Anderson.

The Jazz Singer (1927)
6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 14, CRONKITE-128, ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.
Film and discussion.

Memory and Sense of Place in the Blues
3-4:30 p.m., Sept. 15, West Hall 135, ASU Tempe campus.
Lecture by Mississippi blues expert William R. Ferris, leading scholar in Southern Studies and African American music and folklore; senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and professor at UNC Chapel Hill.

Mexican American Music and Masks
6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 15, Civic Park, ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.
Zarco Guerrero Family Chicano Musical Group, with Mexican mask maker, Zarco.

Memory and the Blues
7:30-9 p.m., Sept. 15, ASU Kerr Cultural Center 6110 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.
Musical performance and conversation followed by Q&A with Dave Riley, renowned Mississippi blues musician; Bob Corritore, the Valley's own local blues icon and best blues harmonica player and owner of the famous Phoenix Blues and Roots concert club, the Rhythm Room; moderated by William R. Ferris, Mississippi blues expert, professor at UNC Chapel Hill.
$10 General admission, $7 Students
ASU Kerr Cultural Center Box Office: 480-596-2660, http://www.asukerr.com.

Celebrating American Music, "Lift Every Voice and Sing"
3-5 p.m., Sept. 17, Old Main Carson Ballroom, ASU Tempe campus.
Conversation and performances of barbershop, traditional and contemporary gospel, and rock – featuring the Scottsdale Chorus, Audacity, Redeemed, the McHenry Singers, and Terry Hummer and Billy Cioffi as AmeriCamera, blending of poetry and rock. Moderated by Matthew Whitaker, ASU professor of history, and Richard Mook, ASU professor of music.
Free parking for this event. Free and open to the public.

Written by Meghan Fern.

Carol Hughes, carol.hughes@asu.edu

Arizona State beats UC Davis 48-14

September 2, 2011

Brock Osweiler threw two touchdown passes to Aaron Pfugrad before leaving with leg cramps, Cameron Marshall ran for two more scores and Arizona State opened the season with a 48-14 blowout of UC Davis, Sept. 1.

Arizona State dominated UC Davis from the start, rolling up 517 total yards while holding the FCS Aggies in check until the backups gave up a couple of late scores. Osweiler was sharp in his first home start, throwing for 262 yards before limping off following a 13-yard touchdown pass to Pflugrad midway through the third quarter. Download Full Image

Marshall scored on a pair of 2-yard runs in the opening quarter to get Arizona State off to fast start and Jamal Miles made it a runaway by opening the second half with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving the Sun Devils some momentum before facing No. 21 Missouri next week.

With new pitchforked logos on their helmets and speed everywhere, Arizona State headed into the season with high expectations. Not the we-can-have-a-winning-record kind, either. The Sun Devils have a legitimate belief they can get to the inaugural Pac-12 Championship, maybe earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.

Coming off three bowl-less seasons, Arizona State returned 20 starters, including high-energy junior Vontaze Burfict, one of the nation's best linebackers, and Osweiler, who played the final two games a year ago.

The Sun Devils pulled off the commanding win despite a few key pre-season injuries. Starting cornerback Omar Bolden tore his ACL in spring practice, linebacker Brandon Magee blew out his Achilles' tendon in the preseason and running back Deantre Lewis, the second-leading rusher a year ago, still hasn't returned after being hit in the leg in a random shooting in February.

Even with the losses, the Sun Devils were expected to be among the elite teams in the new Pac-12.

They certainly looked good against UC Davis, racing over the Aggies in a brutally hot night; 104 degrees at kickoff.

Osweiler hit Marshall on a swing pass that went for 47 yards on Arizona State's first play, and Marshall punched it in from 2 yards out two plays later. Time of drive: 62 seconds.

Next drive, set up by Tom Hemmingsen's muffed punt, took 69 seconds, capped by another 2-yard run by Marshall.

Osweiler got his first TD pass of the season on the first play of the second quarter, hitting Pflugrad on a 31-yard post. That drive took a little longer: 77 seconds.

Arizona State's offense bogged down after that, hurt by Rashad Ross' fumble, a turnover on downs and a couple of momentum-killing penalties. Alex Garoutte finished the half off nicely, though, hitting a 49-yard field goal, then Miles took the second-half kickoff for a zigzagging touchdown romp to make it 31-0.

Osweiler tacked on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Pflugrad at the edge of the end zone midway through the third quarter, then limped off with his right leg straightened. He finished 19 of 26 with an interception.

UC Davis fullback Nick Aprile broke up the middle for a 48-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and Josh Reese added a 1-yarder midway through, but by then it was far too late for the Aggies.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library