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January 28, 2011

Artist-in-Residence Spencer Bohren's visit to coincide with guitar festival Feb. 14-18

Four decades as a "road scholar" has given New Orleans folklorist/artist/blues performer Spencer Bohren much to share.

From Feb. 14-18, Bohren will share a veritable treasure trove of musical and artistic knowledge to enthusiastic students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

As Bohren himself puts it, "I've never envisioned myself in front of a class, but it turns out that I'm a good teacher, and I love the feeling of passing my discoveries on to music lovers of all ages."

Bohren's visit also coincides with ULM's first ever guitar festival, to be held Feb. 16-18.

Contemporary with his recent welcome into the academic world, Bohren has developed a performance/lecture that sheds light on the origins and development of the traditional American music he celebrates.

Entitled "Down the Dirt Road Blues," it follows a single song's journey from 16th-century Africa through America's culture and history up through the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, utilizing appropriate vintage instruments to orchestrate the story.

Bohren will share lectures, recitals and workshops with students and an art exhibit and concert that are open to the public.

The week culminates in a concert that travels "Down the Dirt Road Blues," Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall.

Due to the eclectic nature of Spencer Bohren's talents, background, and skills, the collaboration with VAPA enables an artist-in-residence from whom students from many degree programs and disciplines can benefit.

The Speech & Debate Forum, a Department of Communication Student Organization, collaborated with the School of Visual and Performing Arts to bring the renaissance scholar-artist to the community and campus of ULM for a week-long residency.

In addition, the Speech and Debate Forum sponsors the Traveling Scholar Series, bringing a wide range of communication scholars to campus for interactions with students, and public lecture performances.

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