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Lecture aims to heighten jazz awareness

Library hosts University of Alberta expert Michael Roeder

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 06:00 am

JAZZ EXPERT – Music specialist Michael Roeder will provide his expertise during a talk about jazz at the St. Albert Public Library this Sunday.
JAZZ EXPERT – Music specialist Michael Roeder will provide his expertise during a talk about jazz at the St. Albert Public Library this Sunday.
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The great thing about attending a jazz music lecture is that you don’t need to know a single note. You just soak up the information.

Once again St. Albert Public Library opens its doors to music specialist Dr. Michael Roeder (pronounced Raider) on Sunday, June 1 for an afternoon of Jazz: The Essential Characters.

During the 90-minute talk Roeder will focus on the essential characters of jazz and explore different facets. He will also examine different sound signatures with musical recordings, photographic illustrations and possibly short video clips.

“By coming I hope people will become more aware of that knowledge and if they can apply it, it will deepen their appreciation of what they listen to,” said Roeder.

Roeder is a professor emeritus from the University of Alberta music department. He taught classical and jazz history for 35 years before retiring. In addition, he plays bassoon and alto saxophone.

Although Roeder has scaled back his teaching load, he continues to conduct classes for the Edmonton Lifelong Learning Association (ELLA), a volunteer, not-for-profit organization founded to provide ongoing education to adults aged 50-plus.

In November 2013 Roeder was invited to the library to give a talk on Handel’s Messiah. Many music lovers attend the traditional Christmas choral presentation, and the lecture was aimed at heightening the experience.

“He definitely had a rapport with the audience and he was very knowledgeable and got the message out. When he did Messiah, we ran out of time. He presented a totally different way of things to watch for,” said Heather Dolman, public services manager at the library.

This time around, Dolman believes jazz aficionados attending the Edmonton International Jazz Festival running June 20 to 29 will benefit from Roeder’s presentation.

Roeder takes a very humble view on the presentation.

“I hope it provides deeper understanding of jazz and music in general and that it will help people become more focused listeners, more aware of what they hear,” he said.

The lecture runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. It is free, however anyone wishing to attend should contact the library at 780-459-1682.


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