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March 16, 2011
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Music faculty perform Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool”


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. ­– Six Slippery Rock University music faculty will perform songs from “Birth of the Cool,” a classic Miles Davis recording, when they present a “Faculty Jazz Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in SRU’s Swope Music Hall. The group will play nine of the album’s 12 songs, including its most enduring number “Boplicity.”
       Considered a seminal moment in the history of cool jazz, Davis recorded “Birth of the Cool” in 1949-50, in response to bebop. The album came out in 1957.
       “It was a very historically important album because it was in reaction to what was happening at the time,” said Jason Kush, an SRU instructor of music and one of the performers. “Bebop was fast and crazy and didn’t do well with all listeners. The goal with “Birth of the Cool” was to have something with soft edges.”
     Many music aficionados credit the album with the emergence of the word “cool” in popular culture. “The word cool was literally invented for this album. This was the first use of the word in this way,” Kush said.
      He said it would be an exciting evening of music, made special because many SRU music professors don’t perform together often. “It’s really a highlight for our school,” he said.
      Performing are Stephen Hawk, professor of music, trumpet; David Glover, associate professor of music, drums; Heather Johnson, instructor of music, French horn; Jeffrey Grubbs, instructor of music, bass; Nathan Douds, instructor of music, piano; Terry Steele, professor emeritus of music, baritone saxophone; Robert Matchett, the Seneca Valley band director, trombone; and Neal Chiprean, an SRU music education major from Butler, on tuba.
        Suggested donation is $3 for students and $5 for adults.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.