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November 7, 2001

Rene' Marie Jazz Conversation

As we did with jazz singer Neenna Freelon last February, Homewood Studios offers a conversation with popular Jazz chantuese, Rene' Marie from 3:30 to 4:30 on Wednesday, November 7th in The Gallery.

Ask about her formal training and she gives a modest, tongue-in-cheek description of herself as a "career student at Fitzgerald-Vaughn University." Her latest CD, Vertigo, is just recently released and is being very well received.

While this conversation is primarily for students in the community who are interested in "the music life," there should be room for a few jazz-loving adults to attend as well.

Call for reservations if you wish at 612 587-0230.

Bill Cottman will devote a large part of his November 3rd Mostly Jazz radio show on KFAI-FM (90.3) to Ms. Marie's music.

From George Roberts:

Like many events on the northside, things looked a little "iffy" at three-twenty five. Only two people were in the gallery, and Rene' herself had not yet arrived. But, as usually happens, ten minutes later there were a dozen or more people, including three young people I went out on the sidewalk to invite in. Rene' and Lowell Pickett arrived, and we had an unexpectedly honest and sometimes surprising conversation.

Rene, moved perhaps by the artwork in our "The Wind in Her Hair" show, opened up by giving us the sometimes difficult story of her journey through a strict, religiously conservative marriage to her divorce and launching into a musical life in which she finds a place "I can make decisions with no one else influencing them."

As she spoke passionately about the power of music in her life, I watched the three young persons. Their eyes were glued to her. They were leaning forward in their seats, drawn by her, toward their own futures.

One of the three young men, Corey, is someone I've known since he was little. His life has been a difficult one, rootless in many ways, and I feel he is still searching for direction. I can imagine his agreeing to come in and give the hour with Rene' a chance might be a good thing for him. It is certainly a seed. We can only hope it falls on fertile ground.

As for the adults who attended, we were pleased, I believe, at the level of risk Rene' assumed with us. There must have been something about us, and the art, which made her feel at home. Many of us attended her concert at the Dakota later that evening. She was as surprising and open there and she had been with us at Homewood.