The extraordinary Bob Milne will be in concert along with country artist Darryl Worley, Americana-roots band Boy Named Banjo, and jazz musician Brian Nova at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Guerry Auditorium. The performance will include the premiere of Milne's song, "Don't Forget Me, Tennessee," based on his visit to Sewanee last year. The concert is free and open to the public.
Bob Milne, one of the best ragtime piano players in the world, is a self-taught pianist, playing literally everything by ear. He never took piano lessons, but played in Detroit area saloons, seafood houses, and every place he could "have so much fun and get paid for it at the same time." Following a performance at the Cheboygan Opera House, appearances in other concert halls followed. He served as musical ambassador for the United States for six years, and was deemed a "national treasure" by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington.
Milne is an amazing musician who can play multiple complex rhythms simultaneously while carrying on a conversation, lecturing on ragtime music, and cracking jokes. He attracted the attention of neurological scientists and researchers after he composed a two and a half hour opera in his head—including the story line, music, lyrics, and orchestrations—all while driving across Montana. Researchers have been studying his thought processes for several years; the results of these tests have been shared via the popular Radiolab podcast, "The 4-Track Mind."
Darryl Worley has had a 15-year career in country music, with nearly 20 hit singles and three chart-topping hits (“Awful, Beautiful Life,” “Have You Forgotten,” and “I Miss My Friend”). He gives back by performing annually for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and through charities such as the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center in Savannah, Tennessee, and a new wellness center for youth battling drug and alcohol abuse.
Boy Named Banjo is an Americana-roots band from Nashville; founded in 2011, they released their debut album before graduating from high school. The band, familiar to the Sewanee community, is composed of Barton Davies, C’16, William Reames, C’16, Willard Logan, Sam McCullough, and Abraham Scott. Boy Named Banjo has released a second album, Long Story Short, performed at Bonnaroo, and is currently touring behind its new EP, Lost on Main.
Brian Nova is considered one of the top jazz guitarists/vocalists in the nation. Nova performs and records as a solo artist as well as with his trio, quartet, and his 12-piece big band. Since beginning his jazz career in Seattle, Nova has released six CDs. He has toured and performed with artists as varied as saxophonists Tom Scott and Kenny G; trumpeters Arturo Sandoval and Dizzy Gillespie; and blues and rock musicians Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Eric Burdon, Joe Satriani, the Zac Brown Band, and Steve Miller. In addition to performing, Nova also encourages young jazz musicians to further their own musical education and stage presence; he conducts master classes and clinics around the world. While in Sewanee, he will visit classes in the Music Department.