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Famed jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks, dubbed the "James Joyce of Jive" and "The Poet Laureate of Jazz," will give a pre-inauguration concert at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center at Old Dominion University.

The concert is part of Old Dominion's festivities in honor of Roseann Runte, who will be inaugurated Thursday, Oct. 11, as the seventh president of the institution. The concert is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

A singer, lyricist and drummer, Hendricks was born in 1921 in Newark, Ohio. He has distinguished himself as a vocalist capable of turning instrumental choruses into lyrically interesting voices.

Before Hendricks reached his teens, his family moved to Toledo, where he began appearing on radio and where he encountered pianist Art Tatum, who took a keen interest in Hendricks' musical development.

A brief encounter with the legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker motivated Hendricks to pursue music professionally. He was the key lyricist and principal member of the trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, formed in 1958.

The group remained together for six years, during which time they toured widely and recorded extensively, featuring a repertory of jazz vocalese.

The trio mastered the technique of adding words to jazz instrumental classics, including those of Count Basie and Duke Ellington. After that, Hendricks performed with a new group, Jon Hendricks and Company, and moved to London in 1968. He performed in Europe and Africa for five years. He frequently performed on British television and appeared in the British film "Jazz Is Our Religion" and the French film "Hommage a Cole Porter."

Hendricks also moved to California where he was a jazz critic for The San Francisco Chronicle and taught classes at California State University-Sonoma and the University of California at Berkeley. His 1985 album, "Vocalese," won five Grammy Awards. Hendricks' television documentary, "Somewhere to Lay My Weary Head," received Emmy, Iris and Peabody awards.

His stage work, "Evolution of the Blues," ran an unprecedented five years at the Broadway Theatre in San Francisco. Hendricks has worked with many jazz greats, including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Buck Clayton, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Wynton Marsalis and Bobby McFerrin.

For more information, call 683-4061.

This article was posted on: September 25, 2001

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.