(Ashland, Ore.) – The Music program of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University presents the jazz and café music that made Paris famous in “American in Paris,” performed by Dan Kocurek and Christine Eggert, on Friday, February 20 at 7:30 pm in the SOU Music Recital Hall.
Kocurek and Eggert are both classically trained professional musicians. This performance was inspired by their desire to infuse the experience of musical performance with a compelling story, allowing each listener to watch a movie in their own mind as the music unfolds. The narrative element engages the audience on multiple levels, making the music more accessible.
In “American in Paris,” Kocurek is the narrator and the American and Eggert represents the beautiful Parisian. As the story unfolds, the duo performs wonderful music by Debussy, Gershwin, Stravinsky and Piazzolla, as well as some risqué cabaret songs and music made famous by singer Edith Piaf. Their repertoire is from the great legends who visited and worked in Paris during the 1920s, as well as charming ̶ and disarming ̶ music that made it big on the radio and on stage.
“My favorite part of performing ‘American in Paris’ is the reactions we get from the audience,” said Kocurek. “After every performance, audience members tell me how it made them feel. So many people have told me that it made them recall their last trip to France, or that it transported them straight to Paris.”
Kocurek leads the trumpet studio in the SOU Music program, the Southern Oregon Jazz Ensemble and SOU Raider Band. Eggert teaches courses at SOU in the piano and theory programs. As Les Deux, they have been called a “musical powerhouse” whose programs have been hailed as being “musically provocative, presented with charm and a deliciously human touch.”
Kocurek is former lead trumpet for the world-renowned Dallas Brass and he’s performed with Jens Lindemann, Mark Gould, Ryan Anthony, Marty Hackleman, Alain Trudel, Nancy DiNovo and Bobby Shew. He has also performed as a soloist with the University of British Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Strings, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Pro Nova Ensemble and the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, among many others.
Eggert debuted on CBC radio as a piano soloist at age 16 and has performed across Canada and in the United States, Austria and Ireland. She has appeared in Vancouver, B.C., with the Out For Lunch series at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Silk Purse Series, the Ryerson Summer Concert Series, The Bluthner Piano Series and the Dodson Room Concerts. Her training has included collaborative piano studies at the prestigious Franz Schubert Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria, under the world’s foremost lieder specialists including Rudolf Jansen, Elly Ameling, and Julius Drake.
Tickets are $10, $5 senior and free to full-time students. The Performing Arts Box Office is located in the Music Recital Hall lobby. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card over the phone by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts. Contact the box office for discounts offered to SOU alumni, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participants and SNAP/Oregon Trail cardholders.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.