FLICKS: Blues School: Ragtime Migration

Posted on 31 January 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Remember Blues School?

Inspired by the International House of Blues Foundation and funded by the Broward Public Library Foundation, Blues School was administrated by Tim “Hurricane” Bain and Cinema Dave. Besides deepening the collection of music and books, Blues School created two seminars, a lively academic presentation with Professor Chuck Bergeron from the University of Miami and a graduation concert held at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, hosted by Guy Davis. As an inaugural program, Blues School was a success with plans to continue the academic and entertainment program. Alas, when the economy collapsed in 2008, funding for Blues School dried up.

Kris Nicholson, our adjunct scholar – Blues School  Ragtime Migration

The spirit of Blues School did not die. Through the years, there had been variations of Blues School and this Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m., the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library (1837 E. Hillsboro Blvd.) will present “Blues School: Ragtime Migration” featuring piano player Kris Nicholson.

Based in Miami with Bronx origins, Kris Nicholson describes himself as a “Boogie Woogie Honky Tonk pianist,” which is a modest assessment of his commitment to culture and entertainment. Living and breathing the musical influences of Scott Joplin, Fats Waller and Jerry Lee Lewis, Nicholson’s attention to detail is even more impressive. (He noticed a typo in one of the flyers and corrected the name of one of his influences, Jo Ann Castle from The Lawrence Welk Show. Besides tuning the Baldwin Piano in the multipurpose room, Nicholson has requested a piano polishing with some Pledge).

With a sense of irony and ridicule by serious music critics, A Briefcase Full of Blues is the biggest selling Blues album of all time. This album was recorded live and created by the Blues Brothers — Jake and Elwood Blues (played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, respectively) from the movie The Blues Brothers. Bands with the name “Blues Brothers Band” continue to perform, some with legendary musicians like Frank Sinatra and Otis Redding with geographic influences from New Orleans, Memphis and Chicago. While the Blues Brothers have been typecast as a glorified cover band, the cover of these songs created royalty checks and the movie revitalized the careers of Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Ray Charles.

Check out the Blues School display in the Youth Services area, featuring musical artifacts and books.

While the The Blues Brothers is the best known Blues movie, perhaps one of the most influential Blues movies is Crossroads, starring Ralph Macchio, and Joe Seneca as an old harmonica player who owes a debt to the devil. Inspired by the Robert Johnson’s Crossroads myth (about selling your soul to the devil for fame), the grand finale features a musical showdown between Joe Seneca (with harmonica dubbing by Sonny Terry) and Steve Vai as the devil’s guitar player.

Blues School faces its own crossroads this Saturday afternoon. Depending on the success of this free program sponsored by the Friends of the Percy White Library Inc., Blues School: Ragtime Migration may launch annual Blues School programs. Besides, Blues School is free. How cool is that?

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