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Bolcom & Morris: “When the World Was Young”

Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

The internationally renowned husband-and-wife duo of composer-pianist William Bolcom and mezzo-soprano Joan Morris present a concert of 100 years of songs from the American Songbook including James Reese Europe, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hart, Bolcom & Weinstein and others.


Traversing Broadway, vaudeville and music hall, performing music from the ragtime era to the end of the 20th century, the duo of William Bolcom and Joan Morris have delighted audiences across the United States and around the world since 1973.

At the piano, composer and raconteur William Bolcom charms the audience with his engaging patter. One of the driving forces behind the ragtime revival that began in the 1970s, he is also the composer of the poignant “Graceful Ghost Rag.” As an accompanist, his lively and harmonically rich touch is impeccably tuned to every nuance of Joan Morris’s voice.

Chanteuse Joan Morris brings out a veritable cast of characters to sing each of her songs — from a curious little kid (“Love in the Thirties”) to a world-weary lover (“Toothbrush Time”) to an unforgettable dowager waging battle at the Ladies Club with her recipe for “Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise.” According to the Chicago Tribune, “She projects not just a song, but the character singing it, and gives that character her own irresistibly funny and winning personality.”

The duo has 25 recordings to their credit, from their Grammy-nominated debut “After the Ball” to recent collections of songs by Yip Harburg, Gus Kahn and Arnold Weinstein/William Bolcom. Their newest CD, Autumn Leaves, is a collection of 21 popular cabaret songs, including “Am I Blue,” “Swinging on a Star,” “Can’t We Be Friends,” and “As Time Goes By.” 

"Bolcom and Morris may be the best thing to happen to American popular song since the invention of sheet music." — The Chicago Sun-Times

 "Together the couple is, to borrow the title of an early Bolcom opera, 'dynamite tonight.' His brilliantly propulsive, imaginative embellished pianism provides her with a strong rhythmic framework. And Morris plumbs every number for its specific emotional content." — The San Francisco Examiner

An Evening with William Bolcom and Joan Morris  

University of South Carolina hosts Q & A, performances, reception on April 20

When: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 7:30 PM 

Where: School of Music Recital Hall, Rm 206 813 Assembly St, Columbia, SC 29208 

Cost: FREE 

Description: A discussion and Q&A with National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award-winner composer William Bolcom and mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, moderated by Armen Shaomian. Also featuring performances by Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute, Bolcom’s "Housemusic" for flute and piano; Janet Hopkins, mezzo-soprano, and Armen Shaomian, piano, a selection from Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs; and Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers, piano, Bolcom’s "The Serpent's Kiss." 
A reception follows. 

For more information, contact: School of Music 803-576-5763