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“The Dean will entertain you now….”

You know you’re in a solid college music program when even the Dean of Academic Affairs is strapping on his ax to make music in a variety of genre and with a variety of players. That’s exactly what will transpire during the final “Live At 5 Performance Series” of the term April 20 at the McNally Smith College of Music Auditorium. Versatile guitarist and the music college’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Cliff Wittstruck, will take the stand in the McNally Smith Auditorium to play everything from Jazz and Latin pieces to contemporary pop, including covers and originals. See the line-up below.

The free event, which is open to the public, and McNally Smith students and faculty, begins at 5:00 p.m., with a social hour, followed by Wittstruck’s live performance with three different groups at 6:00 p.m. Formerly known as the “Faculty Performance Series,” the “Live at 5 Performance Series,” takes place every third Tuesday of the month.

The Dean has worked with an amazing range of musicians: He  performed with the legendary R&B group, Inside Straight, opening for such nationally-renowned performers as James Brown, Roy Buchanan, Junior Walker and the All Stars, Sam and Dave, and Sun Ra.  Wittstruck also has played with the Minnesota Orchestra, Art Garfunkel, Bernadette Peters, Rupert’s Orchestra, Mick Sterling and the Stud Brothers, and the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra. He also performed throughout the U.S., Far East, Mexico, and Caribbean with the group, Synergy.

Cliff has performed with Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band on the nationally syndicated radio program A Prairie Home Companion,  hosted by Garrison Keillor. On the show’s 20th anniversary special broadcast, he  played with country great, Chet Atkins. Cliff continues to perform regularly at various Twin Cities venues and on various CD recording projects, as well as on TV and radio commercials.

Wittstruck’s “The Live at 5” event settings include:

Judi Donaghy – Vocals
Dave Foley – Saxophone and Foleyphone
Dave Hanzel – Percussion
Cliff Wittstruck – Acoustic and Classical guitars

Style of music (covers and originals by Judi Donaghy)
o  Acoustic Latin Music
o  Folk music
o  Acoustic Jazz

Second Group
Dan Musselman – Keyboards
Terry Burns – Bass
Gordy Knudtson – Drums
Cliff Wittstruck – Electric/Acoustic Guitar

Style of music (covers and originals by Terry Burns and Cliff Wittstruck)
Contemporary Electric Jazz

Third Group
Gwen Mathews – Vocals
Mary Jane Alm – Vocal
Shady – Vocals

Brad Shermock – Trumpet
Rich Manik – Saxophone
Ethan Frier – Trombone
Gary Gratz – Keyboards
Dik Hedlund – Bass
Peter Johnson – Drums
Cliff Wittstruck – Electric Guitar

Style of Music – Contemporary Popular Music – all covers

Mandatory attendance  should be required. But the Dean is not that kind of man.