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Otterbein to Host Guest Pianist Jacqueline Schwab

October 06, 2016
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University’s Department of Music will host guest pianist Jacqueline Schwab for a recital and master class on Oct. 24 and 25. She will perform a recital featuring solo arrangements of American “heart songs” at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, and give a master class in improvisation at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Both events are free and open to the public and will take place in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St.

Schwab’s signature solo arrangements of American “heart songs” honor the historical, improvisational spirit of community music making but also draw on sounds of today. She will perform Stephen Foster and Civil War tunes, Victorian ballroom dance tunes, imported Scots and Irish songs and dance tunes, hymns and spirituals, ragtime, music of the World War I era, Latin waltzes and tangos, Billie Holiday blues, and more. As she speaks about the pieces, she will invite audience members to connect with their personal and community music heritages.

Schwab grew up in the “melting pot” of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she listened to a wide range of music and became involved in many different folk dance and music communities. Drawn to Boston’s thriving folk music scene, she graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Massachusetts, where she majored in piano improvisation. Drawing on the sounds of classical, traditional folk, jazz and world music, she creates evocative concert and film arrangements on vintage tunes from America, Scotland, Ireland and beyond, spinning out stories, in her variations on the themes. Schwab has performed in over 40 states throughout the country, including the Savannah Music Festival in Georgia and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Ohio. She also plays for many styles of traditional dancing, with the Bare Necessities quartet and others. 

Filmmaker Ken Burns said, “Jacqueline Schwab brings more feeling and intensity to music than anyone I know. Her playing is insistent, physical, heartfelt and ... unusually moving.” Schwab has performed in over a dozen of Burns’ documentaries, including his Grammy-winning Civil War; his Emmy-winning BaseballLewis and ClarkMark TwainThe War; and The National Parks. She has performed on The Irish in America; Ric Burns’ New York: A Documentary Film; and other PBS documentaries. She has been composer for two documentaries, Mary Cassatt — A Brush with Independence and Simple Servants — The Story of the Lewis County Mennnonites. She has performed at the White House for President Clinton, and with Scottish singer Jean Redpath on A Prairie Home Companion and The Late Show with David Letterman. She has four solo recordings: Mad RobinDown Came an AngelMark Twain’s America, and True Blue Waltz.

More information about the Otterbein University Department of Music and its concert schedule can be found at http://www.otterbein.edu/music. For more information about these events, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1771523126449774/ 

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Director of Marketing and Communications
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