Delta State University’s Department of Art and the Department of Music will sponsor a First Tuesday program presented by Jake Fussell from 12:10 – 1 p.m., on Tuesday, April 5, in the Wright Art Center Gallery. He will provide a presentation on his experience in researching, documenting, performing, and recording traditional southern music.
Fussell’s talk will incorporate exemplary musical performances to illustrate the benefits of using traditional regional music in motion picture soundtracks, including his work with documentary filmmaker Joe York at the University of Mississippi’s Center for Documentary Projects and Sam Wainwright Douglas, with whom Fussell recently collaborated to create the score for Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio. Fussell’s guitar playing can also be heard on the soundtracks for Catechism Cataclysm, Black Snake Moan, and the television show Friday Night Lights.
Fussell grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and began studying traditional music while accompanying his father, folklorist and writer Fred Fussell, on many documentary fieldwork projects throughout the South. While in his teens, Jake teamed up with two local old-time string bands and soaked up blues guitar technique from Georgia blueswoman Precious Bryant, with whom he has recorded and toured. He also learned from Alabama bluesman Albert Macon, the late Carolina Piedmont fingerpicker Etta Baker, and many others. Now living in Oxford, Mississippi, Jake is currently enrolled in the Southern Studies graduate program at the University of Mississippi, where he is researching and writing about immigrant music in the South. He now plays guitar with Memphis gospel master Reverend John Wilkins in addition to traveling as a solo performer and writing music scores for documentary films.
Fussell has performed at notable venues such as The North Georgia Folk Festival; The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival; A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor; Blues N’ Rhythm Festival in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland; Cognac Blues Passions Festival in Cognac, France (with Precious Bryant); The Twelve Bar – London, England; and Swedish American Hall, San Francisco, CA,
Those attending may bring a brown bag lunch. Coffee will be provided.
First Tuesday is sponsored by the Art Department & the First Tuesday Committee and is scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month during fall and spring semesters from 12:10-1 p.m. First Tuesday features lectures, readings, and presentations representing diverse perspectives in the arts and humanities. The First Tuesday Programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call 846-4720.