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   Celebrating Maestro Jimmie Lunceford and Jazz at Manassas High

   Date : Thursday, 15 November 2012       From : 7:30pm   To : 9:30pm
   Category : Arts       Location : McCallum Ballroom/ Crain Reception Hall

   Event Description :

Rhodes' Mike Curb Institute for Music will present an evening of events in the Bryan Campus Life Center on campus looking at the rich musical tradition of Memphis’ Manassas High School and the career of jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader Jimmie Lunceford (1902-1947). All events are free and open to the public.

"Celebrating Jimmie Lunceford and Jazz at Manassas High" includes a reception and viewing of Rhodes student research on Manassas at 5 p.m. in the Crain Reception Hall followed by a panel discussion featuring Emerson Able, Jr. and Ronald Herd II at 6:15 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom. At 7:30 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom is a concert featuring the Rhodes Jazz Band with special guest vocalist and Manassas alumna Earlice Taylor.

The rich musical tradition of Manassas High School also will be a point of exploration during the evening. Among the school's distinguished alumni are Gerald Wilson, George Coleman, Booker Little, Hank Crawford, Frank Strozier, Charles Lloyd, Jr., Harold Mabern, Howard Grimes, Isaac Hayes, and Emerson Able.

In conjunction with the Rhodes events, Able will be presented with a Beale Street Brass Note on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Historic Daisy Theater on Beale Street.


Born in Fulton, Miss., James Melvin Lunceford graduated from Fisk University and studied at the City College of New York. While teaching at Manassas High School in 1927, he organized a student band called the Chickasaw Syncopators that later became known as Jimmie Lunceford's Orchestra. The group turned professional in 1929 and went on to issue hit recordings, tour internationally, and play at popular venues such as New York’s Cotton Club. By the mid-1930s, Lunceford led one of the most popular orchestras in the country. Lunceford died at the age of 45 in 1947. He is buried in Memphis' Elmwood Cemetery.

For more information, contact Dr. John Bass at (901) 843-3786 or

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