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Lyceum Committee Announces its Fall Performances

September 10. 2010

– Last year, Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced the “Rebirth” of its Lyceum Series. According to FAMU Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris, this year’s Lyceum Series will be another unforgettable season.

“We have scheduled some outstanding and exciting performances for this season,” said Hughes Harris.  “The Lyceum Committee has scheduled violinists, vocalists, a pianist and more.  I am confident that our diverse performances will continue to provide a rich, cultural experience for the FAMU community and the general public.”

The 2010-2011 season will kick off this fall with a performance by pianist, arranger and composer Nat Adderley, Jr. on Friday, October 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium.

Growing up in a major jazz family, Nat Adderley, Jr. was destined to be a musician.  His father was the power-house cornetist and composer Nat Adderley, Sr. who was famed for his work with his brother, the legendary alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley.

Adderley, Jr., whose grandparents once taught at FAMU and father attended FAMU, was born in Quincy, Fla.  He spent much of his music career arranging for Luther Vandross.  He grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. He started playing piano as a child and had his first song, “I’m on My Way,” recorded by his uncle Cannonball on the 1967 album Why Am I Treated So Bad! by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet when the young Adderley was only 11 years old.  It was at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City that Adderley first met fellow student Luther Vandross, with whom he would later spend much of his musical career. He attended Yale University and graduated with a degree in African-American studies.

While living in Houston, Texas, he was the music arranger for the 1981 album Never Too Much, which became Vandross’ first hit with the title track.  He continued working with Vandross, who he called “a hilarious guy, a great employer, a great friend, and an incredible musician,” until the singer’s stroke in February 2003.

He has returned to his jazz roots, performing his own works, as well as tributes to both his father and uncle. He cites his influences as Chick Corea, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.

The second performance this fall is scheduled for November 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium featuring the music group Black Violin. Combining a daunting array of musical styles and influences to produce a signature sound that is not quite maestro, not quite emcee, this group of two classically trained violinists, Wil B. and Kev Marcus, and their DJ is redefining the music world-one string at a time. With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin breaks all the rules, blending the classical with the modern to create something rare, a sound that nobody has ever heard, but that everybody wants to feel.

After graduating from high school, both Wil and Kev were granted full music scholarships to college, Florida State University and Florida International University (FIU) respectively. It was at FIU that Kev first encountered the group’s future manager, Sam G, with whom he and Wil soon formed a production company: DKNEX. Now they had a platform for their dream, and the talent and inspiration to back it up. Black Violin was born.

In 2004, the group joined superstar Alicia Keys on stage at the Billboard Music awards, delivering a performance that made the tastemakers and music enthusiasts of America sit up and take notice. Not long after, in 2005, the group was awarded the coveted title of Apollo Legend by the esteemed Apollo theatre in Harlem, effectively confirming what many were beginning to suspect, Black Violin was on its way to the top.

For more information and ticket prices, contact the Office of Communications at (850) 599-3413.

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