A concert by local musician Evo Bluestein and friends will launch a new Music of America Concert Series at Fresno State.
The concert will coincide with Earth Day, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in Wahlberg Recital Hall. Performers will include Bluestein, Terry Barrett, Barry Shultz, Patricia Wells-Solarzano and Agustin Lira, Two for the Road and The Gilly Girls.
Dr. John Karr, who teaches music history and ethnomusicology in the Department of Music, says the Music of America series will be devoted to traditional American music – bluegrass, folk, blues, gospel, country, mariachi, music nortena, zydeco, etc. – that is largely under-represented in concert programming in the Central Valley.
“This is the music of our country but is so seldom heard because it is not ‘commercially’ competitive with rock, hip hop or other types of music,” Karr said. “I believe this music represents our history and our culture and tells us much about the grand diversity of who were as Californians and as Americans. Could anything be more relevant in a time as divisive as this?”
Karr said the eventual plan is to offer four or five concerts a year in the series with a wide variety of musical offerings.
“We had a trial concert with an old-time blues/country band out of Los Angeles called The Americans in February 2016. After the event featuring Evo, we have a blues concert in the planning stage for this coming September.”
Bluestein, a longtime folk musician and music educator, has a book coming out later this year called “Road to Sweet’s Mill: Folk Music in the West During the 1960s and ’70s.” The book, which will be published by The Press at California State University Fresno,is a study of the regional folk subculture of the era with archival recordings, photos, interviews and more.
Those who attend the concert can sign up to be notified when the book is available, Bluestein said.
This concert is sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, the Department of Music Department at Fresno State and the Music of America concert series.