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WC to host Root Music Workshop

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Musicians of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in Weatherford College’s first Root Music Workshop exploring a variety of genres including jazz, blues, gospel, country western and more as they work to understand the root of all music.

This free workshop is scheduled for Friday, July 26, and will start at 8 a.m. in the Alkek Fine Arts Center and will culminate that evening with an impromptu concert beginning at 7 p.m. Admission to the concert is also free.

The workshop will focus on helping young musicians make effective musical decisions in performance with a focus on rhythm, melody and harmony and will be led by saxophonist John Petrucelli, pianist Fred Sanders, bassist Lou Harlas and drummer Duane Durrett.

“Great jazz improvisation relies on the musician’s ability to express thoughts and awareness of soul, gospel and R&B heritage that are deeply connected with the American folk music and blues genres,” said Durrett, WC’s dean of fine arts.

Durrett has a 50-year career as a profession drummer and is the founder of the WC jazz studies program. He has performed and recorded with Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, David “Fathead” Newman, Fred Sanders, Chuck Berry and many more.

“This is about using music as a tool to make the world a better place,” said Sanders who is assisting in organizing the event. “Our goal is to inspire people with compassion by training them to express feelings, thoughts and awareness through music.”

Sanders is well versed in a variety of modern jazz styles from New Orleans traditional, New Orleans brass bands, swing, bop to avant-garde. He is a WC alumni and is the head of jazz studies at Booker T. Washington HSPVA in Dallas. He has performed with Erykah Badu, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Roland Guerin and many more.

Harlas is a national recognized electric and acoustic bassist. He has toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra featuring Ella Fitzgerald and performed live with Dave Liebman and Junior Cook. He has also performed with Red Rodney, Cedar Walton, Branford Marsalis and Frank Foster.

Petrucelli is a New Jersey native who made his way to New Orleans where he performed with Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra and David Mahoney’s Quintet and as a featured soloist with the Loyola University Jazz Ensemble. He earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers University where he studied with Ralph Bowen, Victor Lewis, Charles Tolliver, Stanley Cowell and Conrad Herwig.

Register for the workshop online at


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