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Methuen Resident to Share Passion for American Music

Submitted by on January 25, 2013 – 11:17 am
Methuen Resident to Share Passion for American Music

Kevin Comtois

Kevin Comtois of Methuen, who teaches in the Global Studies Department at Northern Essex Community College, will share his passion for American Music in a presentation titled “From Slave Spirituals to Hip Hop: The Social and Political History of American Music” on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Free and open to the public, the presentation will be held at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Library, 2 Main St., Andover.

Using recorded music, film clips, and still images, Comtois will trace the evolution and social and political context of American popular music through four centuries ranging from slave spirituals, minstrelsy, blues, jazz, and Rock and Roll.

Kevin Comtois has been teaching History at NECC since 1999. In 2005 he was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study Jazz with Dr. Gerald Early (an expert on the evolution of Jazz in America) at Washington University, St Louis.

A musician and a historian, he frequently incorporates music into his teaching. “I use music to create a relaxed class atmosphere, to lighten the mood before a test, to make a point about a certain time in history or a certain controversial issue in American’s past, and to spark debate and discussion.”

This presentation is part of the college’s speakers bureau which provides speakers free of charge to area nonprofits. For more information visit the website http://www.necc.mass.edu/community-engagement/speakers-bureau/ or call Ernie Greenslade, Marketing Communications, 978 556-3862.

For more information on the Feb. 27 presentation at Memorial Library, contact the library at 978 623-8401, ext. 31 or rdesk@mhl.org.

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