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Tsai Center Gets the Blues Tonight

Click on the video player to see blues legend Lou Pride perform with the Rooster Blues Band, featuring guitarist Victor Coelho, BU’s associate provost for undergraduate education.



Lou Pride always did get around. The big-voiced, gospel-influenced blues legend was born in Chicago, started singing blues in the army in Germany, and recorded his first hits in El Paso, Tex. For the past few years, Pride has been getting around with Victor Coelho, Boston University’s associate provost for undergraduate education and a guitarist in the Rooster Blues Band. The group, which often performs with Pride, also includes Tom Knowles, from the band of the late blues great Long John Baldry, and drummer Larry Finn, a Berklee College of Music associate professor of percussion.

Pride again teams up with the Rooster Blues Band for the one-night-only Keep on Believing blues concert tonight, October 10, at the Tsai Performance Center.

Joining Pride in three spirituals is Simon Estes, a College of Fine Arts professor of music and a renowned bass-baritone opera singer. Peter Guralnick (CAS’67, GRS’68), author of several books about blues artists, opens the evening with a lecture titled The Secret Life of Rhythm and Blues.

Coelho, a College of Fine Arts professor of musicology, who helped put together the evening of music and talk, says the event is a key part of BU’s ongoing exploration of popular music. “This is an emerging field in musicology,” he says. “Its importance is growing at Boston University and elsewhere. It includes blues and rock, as well as world beat. It’s really great to have people like Peter to come and talk about it.”

Guralnick, who taught Greek and Latin at the College of Arts and Sciences for seven years after graduating from BU, is widely regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent writers on American vernacular music. His books include the prize-winning two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love.

Tonight’s event, sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, starts with Guralnick’s talk at 8 p.m., followed by the performance at 8:30, at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Admission is $10 for the public and $5 for BU students. For more information, go to www.bu.edu/cfa.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.