Fultonian Mark Murphy, world-renowned jazz singer, will perform in concert with his jazz trio and his family at the Murphy Family Event, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the G. Ray Bodley High School auditorium, it was announced by Steve Chirello, president of the Fulton Music Association (FMA).
“In addition to this legendary jazz vocalist, several members of his family will perform in the second half of the program,” Chirello said. Among these will be his brother, Dwight ‘Doc’ Murphy and Doc’s son, Mark E. Murphy of the group Vanaver Caravan and Work O’ the Weavers. In addition, Mark and Doc’s cousin, pianist/vocalist Alan Howe, will also perform in the second half.”
Dwight “Doc” Murphy describes his discovery and joy of American Appalachian music as follows: “I came into this music from a background of several generations of musical families. I’ve studied music and education with a BS from the Crane School at SUNY Potsdam, and an MA in music from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
“I’ve played trombone, French horn, tuba, and bass violin in traditional Dixieland jazz bands, swing bands, big bands, concert bands, theater pit orchestras and symphony orchestras. I taught public school music for 28 years, specializing in strings and orchestra.
“It wasn’t until age fifty, that I first heard the effervescent sound of fiddle and old-time banjo playing mountain-style music. I was fascinated to the point where I started collecting and writing down tunes I learned.
“Now in my retirement years, I find myself helping others to learn the old-time tunes. This has brought me into the creation of the Juan ANA Tua School of OldTime Stringband Music (Book 1 of A tunes). Being invited to teach again at the Music Studio in Georgetown, SC, has put me in the most happy position of people buying my books and being paid for helping them learn. Now, I find this work of preservation and encouragement to be most personally rewarding.”
Doc’s son, Mark E Murphy, started playing cello in 3rd grade, electric bass in 10th and then upright bass at SUNY Fredonia.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Graduating in 1981 with a degree in art, he then entered into the professional music field with Walt Michael, Tom McCreesh and Company, with who he’s appeared on Nashville Network’s Fire on the Mountain and NPR’s Prairie Home Companion.
He has performed with Pilobilus Dance Company and has headlined shows ranging from the Carter Family Fold to Lincoln Center.
With the Vanaver Caravan, he has performed at Lincoln Center and the United Nations, and was part of the cast filmed for their historic dance reconstruction, “Boston Fancy,” which was inducted into the National Archives. He has backed up blues artist Guy Davis (a W.C. Handy Award nominee) on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and on tour in Europe. He has toured and recorded in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In 2003 James Durst, David Bernz, Mark Murphy and Martha Sandefer united to form the group Work o’ the Weavers to celebrate the contribution to our collective musical landscape by America’s pioneering folk quartet, The Weavers. In August, he completed a recording session with Natalie Merchant for a children’s music project.
Pianist/vocalist Allan Howe plays jazz standards, with occasional blues and pop numbers thrown in, Howe said. Appearing as a solo performer and in groups of 2-8 members, he has been playing professionally since 1962.
Growing up in Fulton — Class of 1961 at FHS — he was (and is) part of a family of very talented musicians: Howes, Murphys, and Bidwells.
Summers find him appearing as a solo entertainer at Patz-on-the-River in Oswego and at Pleasant Beach in Fair Haven, where his family has had a cottage ever since the 1920’s.
During the rest of the year, Howe appears frequently in a corridor running from Rochester south to Corning. Most often he appears in a duo with a saxophone/ clarinet player or as a solo act, but he also leads three- and four-piece jazz trios and even has a six-piece party band that plays out occasionally.
Expect to hear him play and sing a lot of Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, B.B. King, Cole Porter, and various other jazz and blues artists, as well as a few tunes he has composed himself.
Tickets for the Sept. 26 Fulton concert are $20 each for reserved and $15 and $10 for non-reserved tickets. For more information, contact Fox at (315) 591-3392.