Home News Local news Folk Duo Gives Kean Students a Musical Exam Break

Folk Duo Gives Kean Students a Musical Exam Break

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Jan. 22, 2008 — A live performance of folk music brought welcome respite from mid-year exams Tuesday for students at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, courtesy of the Arts Alive program of the Tillett Foundation.
Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, a folks/blues/jazz duo out of Texas, donated their performance to the school. The cafeteria was packed with students, many of whom clapped along and rocked in their seats.
"It was really great," said senior Promise Stewart of Hendrix. "I like how she handled the guitar."
Stewart likes gospel and country music, and found Tuesday's tunes a familiar cross-section. "And I like how it has a message in the songs," she said.
Arts Alive brings between four and five musical performers each year to St. Thomas. Built into each visit is a performance at a local public school, according to Dr. Lawrence Benjamin, chairman of the board of Arts Alive. Among last year's shows was the classical performance of the Amadeus Trio. Hendrix and Maines bring a totally different style of music to the kids. It's all about expanding horizons, Benjamin said.
"We try to expose the kids to something different," he explained. "When I make contact (with potential artists), I always let them know what the population is … and see if in their repertoire there are things the kids can listen to."
What captured many students Tuesday was not the songs themselves, but their upbeat rhythm.
"I liked the beat," said sophomore Najee Edwards. "It was good."
Hendrix was delighted by the students' response: "I just think it's nice we played here, because by listening to different styles of music, it opens up your heart and your mind."
Hendrix has been playing music for almost 20 years and says she's been enjoying a top spot on the folk charts for the last several weeks, courtesy of her latest CD, The Spiritual Kind. Her partner is a blues and folk music veteran who has worked with many big names over the years — including his daughter, Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks.
"I produced two of their records," he said, then added with a laugh, "In fact, I produced the lead singer. That was actually the most fun production of all, come to think of it!"
Hendrix and Maines will be on stage again, this time for the public, at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Tillett Gardens.
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