The Piedmont Lectures and jazz?  Now that’s a surprise!  But it’s true—this year’s Piedmont Lectures are taking a turn to the music, a turn that also fits well with Black History Month.

Professor Dennis Reynolds of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music will speak under the banner of the Piedmont Lectures on Wednesday and Thursday, February 22-23, on the topic “The Impact of American Jazz on American Secular and Sacred Music and Culture.”

On Wednesday, February 22,from 11-12:20 a.m., he will meet in class in the Banquet Hall with HIST 4300 American Civil Rights Movement.  All students and other visitors are invited, even if not registered for the class.  At 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, he will join us for supper, followed by a mini-concert  (trumpet—yes!) and talk in the Banquet Hall.

On Thursday, February 23, he will be the speaker at 11:00 a.m. in Barr Chapel.  And on Thursday afternoon, from 4-5:20, he will meet in Room 201 with WSHP 2312 Worship Theology and Practice.  Again, all students and other visitors are invited to attend that class.

And, most exciting of all if you are a musician, there will be a Jazz Jam Session with Speaker for all interested musicians (and listeners), at some time yet to be determined.

According to the Oberlin College and Conservatory website, Trumpeter Reynolds has performed with Count Basie’s band, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and the Clark Terry Big Band.  He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Rita Moreno, Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, and Ella Fitzgerald.  (We old folks among our readership  know what an impressive list that is.)

At Oberlin, Professor Reynolds directs the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble. At Cleveland State University, he is artistic director of the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, which he founded in 1998. In the city of Cleveland, he is a staff member at The Music Settlement, one of the nation’s largest community music schools.

If that’s not enough, he is also music and worship co-ordinator at Compass Christian Church, Akron OH, where Charles Hahlen, whose name may ring a bell, is the lead minister (it helps to have contacts in Ohio places).  The Compass website describes Reynolds as “a widower who spends a great deal of his time playing music and helping young musicians hone their craft. He is playing a key role in developing a ministry housed at Compass that will work alongside the congregation to provide music lessons and musical experiences for young people who might otherwise not have the opportunity.”

Clearly, this is a Piedmont lecture series not to be missed. VIEW EVENT & TICKETS