Music Americana:Instructor Rod MacDonald
The Gift Of Popular Music
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award
What makes a song beloved, a performer celebrated? While popularity often comes from the right song and sound of the moment, artists seek the gift of expression, making music that lasts over time. From the deep groove of Fats Domino to the hypnotic soundscapes of Philip Glass, from the gripping Bernard Herrmann soundtracks such as “Psycho” to the hip veneer of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret” and Chicago”, from the urbane soul of Dinah Washington to the heartfelt belting of Linda Ronstadt, great musical artists create, orchestrate, play and sing the moods, the histories, and the memories of our lives, one song at a time.This course will examine the work, biographies and enduring importance of these musical artists, and attempt to sort myth from reality, using updated videos and excerpts from feature films, live performances and a few surprises.
1. At The Keys: Fats Domino, Dave Brubeck
2. The Singers: Gene Kelly, Dinah Washington
3. Blow That Horn: John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Thelonius Monk
4. At The Podium: Bernard Herrman, T-Bone Burnett
5. The Golden Voices: Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt
6. The New Broadway Musical: Kander and Ebb, Dear Evan Hansen
7. Keepers Of The Flame: Billy Joel, Tom Petty
8. The Cutting Edge: Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson
Biographical Information: Rod MacDonald began his career as a singer/songwriter in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1973. He has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and 11 solo CDs, including the 2014 releases "Later That Night" and "Big Tent" with Big Brass Bed. He performs at festivals and in clubs and concerts locally and throughout North America and Europe, and was named Best Local Acoustic Performer in Broward and Palm Beach counties by New Times, and one of the Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County by the Palm Beach Post. An instructor with LLS since 2006, his previous series include Folksinging in Modern Times, The Great American Songbook, The Roots of Rock & Roll, and Mastery Of The Art.
with Rod MacDonald &
Tuesday November 27, 2018 7 pm
Jupiter LLS Auditorium
Wednesday December 5, 2018 7 pm
Boca Raton LLS Auditorium
Two of the premiere
pianist-singers in music history, Elton John and Billy Joel
have been making great pop music since the 1970s as the
“Madman Across The Water” and the “Piano Man.” Dynamic
performers and creators—John composes his music, and Joel
writes his songs—they’ve sold more than 400 million
recordings between them, from John’s “Your Song” and “Candle
In The Wind” to Joel’s “I’m Movin’ Out” and “Just The Way
You Are.” In recent years they have teamed up for concerts
and announced final tours, and with Sir Elton and Mr. Joel,
winner of the Johnny Mercer Award for songwriting, “It’s
Still Rock ‘n Roll To Me.”
Join Rod MacDonald & the Humdingers for a fun and
low-decibel tour through the lives, music and genius of
these unique artists, as told in their songs.
MacDonald, guitar, has 11 CDs of his songs, including
2014’s Later That Night, as heard on WLRN’s Folk and
Acoustic Music. He performs frequently in South Florida
and throughout North America and Europe, and is a lifelong
devotee of popular song. He has been an instructor with
LLS since 2006.
on LLS website: Boca
The Songs Of Johnny Mercer
The favorite songwriter of John Lennon, Johnny Mercer wrote some of the greatest lyrics sung by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Hoagy Carmichael, and many others, winning four Academy Awards. From the dreamy images of “Lazybones” to the wordplay of “Jeepers Creepers”, from the barstool weariness of “One For My Baby” to the wary manifesto “That’s Life,” he topped the charts and radio waves with witty, soulful and insightful lyrics, co-written with top composers of his time. Today, the Songwriters Hall Of Fame calls its top honor The Johnny Mercer Award, remembering the “Man Of A Thousand Songs,” his work as popular as ever.
Join Rod MacDonald & the Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the life, music and genius of this unique artist, as told in his songs.
Rod MacDonald, guitar, has 11 CDs of his songs, including 2014’s Later That Night, as heard on WLRN’s Folk and Acoustic Music. He performs frequently in South Florida and throughout North America and Europe, and is a lifelong devotee of popular song. He has been an instructor with LLS since 2006.
Bill Meredith, drums, is the backbone of several Palm Beach County rock and roll bands, including Big Brass Bed and Illumination. He has toured throughout the US and Canada, and appears on more than a dozen CDs.
Brad Keller, keyboards, has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and with Maynard Ferguson and the Ink Spots, is the jazz piano instructor at Palm Beach State College and has taught music in Palm Beach County public schools for twenty years. He is also the co-author of the “Jazz Cats” books used internationally to introduce young students to jazz.
Doug Lindsey, bass and vocals, has been playing in south Florida bands for 30 years.
John Smotherman, lead guitar, plays with Big Brass Bed, Illumination and several Palm Beach County bands. His exquisite solos caused the Palm Beach Post to label him one of the “Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County.”