Willis Delony at the piano. Photo by Collin Richie.

BRSO presents ‘Intersections,’ a fusion of classical and jazz music

Willis Delony plays the piano at his home. Photo by Collin Richie.
Willis Delony plays the piano at his home. Photo by Collin Richie.

Musical styles collide in perfect harmony next Thursday, Feb. 11. In a show set for the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra presents a special celebration of Black History Month with Intersections, a captivating glimpse into the connections between classical and jazz music. Part of the Lamar Chamber Series, the production is the brainchild of Willis Delony, an LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts professor of jazz studies with a career spanning three decades.

Delony has won acclaim as one of the nation’s leading classical/jazz crossover artists, showcasing the deep and often unexpected linked history between the genres. In this musical journey, listeners will hear the sounds of J.S. Bach, David Baker, Claude Bolling and Duke Ellington coming together in a happily arranged marriage of styles.

Even the most casual listener of classical music will recognize the name Bach, a German baroque composer responsible for some of the most recognizable solo compositions of all time. David Baker, on the other hand, is a contemporary jazz composer in the tradition of Duke Ellington, another household name made famous by music clubs during the Harlem Renaissance. Claude Bolling, an 85-year-old native of Cannes, is a jazz musician particularly known for scoring music for more than 100 films, and for his collaboration with classical musicians like Yo-Yo Ma.

This show’s 7:30 p.m. performance features Willis Delony on the piano, Borislava Iltcheva on the violin, Molly Goforth on the cello, John Madere on the double bass, Brian Shaw on the trumpet and Troy Davis on drums.

For tickets and more information, visit brso.org. And read more about Willis Delony and his talented family in this story from the inRegister archives.