Adam CJ Klein will focus on mode, meter and mood in music during September 12's humanities project performance at Coffeyville Community College. Klein will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. in the Spencer/Rounds Performing Arts Theatre. Admission is free and the public is invited.
Klein has played music of many kinds since infancy - his earliest recording is a 1960s reel tape of him singing the theme song for the movie "Born Free," accompanying himself on piano while his dad, music critic and later Rockefeller Foundation Director for Arts Howard Klein, played cello. In his early teens, he sang in the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus.
His late teens turned to building Appalachian instruments and playing the music he first heard at the Carter Family Memorial Music Center in Hiltons, Virginia, founded by Janette Carter (daughter of Original Carter Family members A.P. and Sara, niece of Mother Maybelle, and cousin to June Carter Cash), known as Old-Time music, and a little bluegrass. He then returned to college and earned a master's degree in vocal performance from the Indiana University School of Music.
As time went by, Klein found ample employment opportunity in the opera world as a lead tenor, performing across the U.S. and Canada and also in Mexico, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Russia; but, he kept playing Appalachian and other traditional music when he could.
With a long time music acquaintance, he formed the folk duo Little Blue Heron, which in the early oughts performed at NEFFA and other folk music festivals, and is now once again exploring various music traditions. One time in Colorado, in an opera called SUSANNAH, whose plot takes place in a rural community in the Tennessee mountains, Klein played rhythm bones while singing a funny little Jaybird song in the full-on mountain accent.
This year in Philadelphia, in a concert presented by Talents of the World, after having sung a famous opera aria, he performed an arrangement he wrote of the ballad "John Henry" for voice, banjo and piano, after which an Armenian baritone sang a heartbreaking song of exile from his native land. The concert ended with all six singers from different countries singing a well known Neapolitan song together.
Such experiences have proved to Adam that music has the power to unite people from across the world, and that there is no real separation between its different genres. Music itself, however - melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, etc., does vary greatly even within one style. It is this performer's great pleasure to have audiences explore with him these different qualities that give each song or tune its own character which helps to convey so much more than words alone can do, using instruments which themselves have intriguing relationships and histories. And his opera training allows him to do so without need for electric amplification in almost any space, resulting in what he calls true acoustic music: from his mouth and instruments straight to your ears.
For more information about the humanities project, please call 620-251-7700, ext. 2166.