Willie Laws spent Friday morning at the K. A. Brett School, and was joined by his band in the afternoon for a rockin' awesome Blues concert . He talked about slavery and the roots of Blues music as a way to communicate in the fields, and wrote a Blues song with the fourth graders, who joined him on their instruments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sHHAD7sWoY
The fourth graders played for the K/1 students, who then worked on the important musical concept of many instruments making a single sound, in unison (and got to see that there's more than one way to play a guitar).
Willie worked on poly-rhythms with 2nd and 3rd graders, and then was joined by the K. A. Brett middle school band. Did I say the band? I meant the extraordinary, amazing, brave, wicked cool middle school band, who after one rehearsal got up on stage in front of a huge audience to be the horn section for the Willie J. Laws band.
Thanks so much to Willie for his generosity and skill, and for sharing with all of us this quintessentially American art form he has practiced (and practiced and practiced) for so much of his life.
The Willie J. Laws residency is sponsored by BEAM Construction Associates, Inc., serving the Lakes Region of New Hampshire with expert building design and master craftsmanship since 1987, the Yankee Smokehouse in West Ossipee, and the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts, and is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.