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Composer and Pianist Joel Forrester Accompanies Silent Films

October 27, 2004

[ Joel Forrester ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Joel Forrester, internationally renowned composer and jazz pianist, will display his talents as an improvisational accompanist to silent films as part of the Sagan National Colloquium public affairs series at Ohio Wesleyan University on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. in OWU's Gray Chapel. Films of Buster Keaton will be featured with "The General" and "Cops" playing on Friday night and "Steamboat Bill Jr." and "The Electric House" to be shown on Saturday. A discussion of each evening's film and the musical approach of Forrester will take place following the 7:30 p.m. screening, which relates to this year's Colloquium theme on "Dimensions of Creativity."

The author of 1,200 musical works, Forrester composed the spirited theme for Terry Gross' popular interview program "Fresh Air" on National Public Radio, the Minimalist classic "Industrial Arts," and the off-Broadway show "Fascist Living." As a young man, Forrester studied composition under jazz legend Thelonious Monk and composed music for the early films of Andy Warhol. Forrester went on to co-found the Microscopic Septet, which recorded and toured European and American festivals for 12 years. He also plays for silent films at the Louvre and the musee d'Orsay, with the "Paris Voice" hailing him as "the world's leading improvisational accompanist to silent film."

His current New York band, People Like Us, has recorded for Koch Internation and his solo CD, "Stop the Music!" is considered a best-seller for a jazz release. Forrester performs periodically on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and is listed yearly in the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Jazz." His piano stylings draw from stride, boogie-woogie, bebop, and trance. His music is intelligent and colorful as it looks into the jazz tradition and emerges as something unique and innovative.

The Sagan National Colloquium is in its 19th year at Ohio Wesleyan. All lectures are free of charge and open to the public. More information is available at snc.owu.edu or 740-368-3995.