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Renowned Bassist to Discuss Soul Music and the Civil Rights Movement in West Hartford

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Jazz bassist Brian Q. Torff will give a free presentation ‘Soul, Stax and Civil Rights’ at the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford on Feb. 9.


Renowned jazz bassist Brian Q. Torff will analyze the tremendous impact of soul music on 1950s to 1970s culture at Noah Webster Library on Sunday, Feb. 9, beginning at 2 p.m.

Torff, who is also music program director at Fairfield University, took a trip to Tennessee and Mississippi in 2018. This presentation will feature photos from his trip with explanations of how gospel music evolved into Southern blues and soul music – and the impact that had on the Civil Rights movement. He will focus on Stax Records, the Memphis record company that produced hits from Rufus and Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the MGs, Sam and Dave, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, and the Staples Singers.

Torff is a featured bass soloist, leading his own trio, and was the musical director for the Django Reinhardt New York Festival, which has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Birdland in New York City.

Torff has performed at Carnegie Hall for Fiddle Fest where he appeared with Mark O’Connor, Dave Grusin, Regina Carter, Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Pinchus Zukerman. He performs in jazz festivals around the U.S., has founded the Fairfield University Summer Jazz Workshop, and has served as co-chair person for the music advisory board for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Registration is required, online at https://westhartford.librarymarket.com/events/soul-stax-and-civil-rights-nwl or by phone, 860-561-6990.

There is library event parking in the nearby Isham Garage. Please bypass the garage kiosks and come directly to the Noah Webster Library Meeting Room, 20 South Main St., where you may validate your parking with your license plate number.

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