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Traditional Blues


This section of the Blues Ensemble concentrates on this most influential genre of American roots music and its pervasive impact on other popular music styles. In different semesters, two particular areas of the style will be investigated and performed— from Delta, Memphis, Chicago, Piedmont, Pre-war, to Jump Blues and beyond — as well as the blues influence on Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Country and Rock music. From Ma Rainey to Bonnie Raitt. From Blind Lemon Jefferson to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Students will investigate and choose repertoire from iconic artists like Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, B.B. King, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Susan Tedeschi and others, and rehearse, record and perform a set list in environments intended to deepen technical, interpretive and general performance skills.


Audition materials are drawn from the Contemporary Literature arrangements of Eric Clapton’s version of “Tore Down” and the Bobby “Blue” Bland version of “Stormy Monday.”

Tore Down.pdf
Stormy Monday.pdf

For any questions regarding the Blues Two Ensemble audition process, please contact: