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Grammy-Winning Blues Scholar Will Address U of M Commencement Aug. 12
For release: August 3, 2007
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Grammy Award-winning blues scholar Dr. David Evans will be the featured speaker at the University of Memphis’ summer Commencement ceremony Sunday, Aug. 12, at 3 p.m. at FedExForum.

Degrees will be awarded to 768 graduates, including 45 doctorates.

Evans is a professor in the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and is the recipient of the 2007 Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics from Harvard and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in folklore and mythology from UCLA.  Evans came to the U of M in 1978 to establish and direct the doctoral program in enthnomusicology/regional studies.

He has published three books, more than 80 articles and book chapters, and he has contributed entries for a number of encyclopedias and dictionaries. His Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues is the definitive study of how blues are composed and passed from generation to generation through oral tradition.

Evans has produced album notes for 84 recordings, mostly of blues and gospel music. His album notes for Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues: the Worlds of Charley Patton won a Grammy award in 2003. He has released 50 recordings of his African-American blues, gospel, and folk music, including one of Venezuelan music.

An accomplished blues and gospel musician in his own right, Evans has recorded one CD with the Last Chance Jug Band and one under his own name. Until the early 1990s he performed mostly as a guitar accompanist. Evans now performs mainly as a soloist across the U.S. and overseas.

Beyond music, Evans’ work on African-American folktales, riddles, rhymed toasts, and folk arts adds depth and dimension to his musical work.

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Last updated: 03/19/2008 16:40:33
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