World-Renowned Musician Andy Statman to Perform and Speak at UTEP

What: Lauded mandolin and clarinet player Andy Statman to perform and speak at UTEP

When: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 8

Where: Blumberg Auditorium, UTEP Library

The Inter-American Jewish Studies Program at UTEP presents The Andy Statman Trio NEA Heritage Tour with a special stop at the UTEP campus on the morning of Wednesday, May 8. Statman, one of the world’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, will be discussing his music, his education, and his musical journey over breakfast with students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The event is free and open to all.

That same night at 7 p.m., The Andy Statman Trio — featuring Statman on mandolin and clarinet, Jim Whitney on bass, and Larry Eagle on drums — will perform at Congregation B’Nai Zion (805 Cherry Hill Lane). The free performance is part of a national tour honoring Statman’s award of the 2012 National Heritage Fellowship, which is the nation's highest honor in the traditional arts, given by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Statman, who has played with legendary musicians like Izhak Perlman and Jerry Garcia, is one of the world’s premier performers in both American and Eastern European roots music. The Heritage Fellowship inducts Statman into an elite group of honorees including Bill Monroe, BB King, Ralph Stanley, John Lee Hooker, Doc Watson and Klezmer pioneer Dave Tarras, one of Andy's early mentors.

The trio will be performing excerpts from their new two-volume record, Old Brooklyn, as well as traditional Chassidic, Klezmer, bluegrass and jazz classics.

Over the past few decades, Statman, who grew up in a traditional but secular Jewish home, began to explore his Jewish roots. He turned to Klezmer music, traditional Eastern European Jewish instrumental music. Soon thereafter, he began playing Chassidic melodies, fusing bluegrass, Klezmer, and jazz along the way. Statman has since become the dean of living Klezmer clarinetists. The Andy Statman Trio is known for its exciting improvisational style and deeply lyrical performances.

Statman was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007 in the Country Instrumental category. In 2008, he appeared as a guest on Bela Fleck and the Flecktones’ album Jingle All the Way, which won the Best Pop Instrumental Album at the 51st Grammy Awards.