Faculty jazz performance honors Eddie Durham

Lifestyle Reporter
Russell Scanlon, Daniel Durham and Butch Miles perform Feb. 6 during the Eddie Durham Celebration at Evans Liberal Arts Auditorium.

 

Texas State’s School of Music celebrated the work of San Marcos native, jazz composer, arranger and instrumentalist Eddie Durham Feb. 6 in Evans Auditorium.

The event featured famous performers such as Doug Lawrence, Count Basie Orchestra saxophonist, and Dan Morgenstern, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and Grammy award-winning writer. Texas State faculty and alumni were featured in the performance.

The musicians dove into the first of Durham’s songs with no hesitation. Lawrence led the band, and the smirk on his face emphasized the group’s strong entrance. The band performed songs by Durham including “Every Tub,” “Topsy” and “Moten Swing.”

Morgenstern shared clips of Durham’s music and expressed his high regard for the musician. Morgenstern is not a jazz musician, but he demonstrated passion for the music by snapping his fingers and miming playing the trumpet while listening to Durham’s clips.

Morgenstern said he is known for his music journalism, specifically covering jazz. He considers himself more of an advocate than a critic.

“I’m a child of the swing era,” Morgenstern said. “When people first come to New York, they want to see the Empire State Building, but I wanted to see 52nd Street.”

Shortly after speaking, Morgenstern was brought back onstage by Thomas Clark, director of the School of Music. Clark presented him with a plaque recognizing his long, outstanding career.

The plaque named Morgenstern as the Distinguished Jazz Laureate of the Texas State School of Music.

Faculty had multiple shining moments during the festival.

Vocalist Christin Foley was featured on songs such as “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die.” Her voice carried through the auditorium.

Butch Miles, faculty member and drummer, was the epitome of a musician having a great time on stage.

Lawrence took a moment during the performance to say it was an honor to play with Miles.

Each performer seemed to be bursting with energy. They nodded their heads to the rhythms of the music.

“It was really good,” said Marchelle Fowler, social work freshman. “The drummer was amazing. He just put on a show. He made the show what it was. The whole thing was really wonderful.”

The performers played to a full house. There were claps and cheers after each song.

Lawrence said the best moment he experienced while performing was playing with the “great band” during the festival.

“It was a wonderful audience,” Lawrence said. “Playing with this particular group of musicians really inspired me and the teachers and the people, and the staff at Texas State really inspire me.”