Press Release for Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Folklorist to lecture and perform at UNF

JACKSONVILLE ­ Nationally known folklorist and former Jacksonville resident Alan Jabbour will perform and lecture Thursday, Feb. 14 on the University of North Florida campus.

The presentation will be 7:30 p.m. in the small recital hall in the Fine Arts Center (Bldg. 45, Room 1200). It is free and open to the public.

The program entitled "Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier" will explore the intercultural influences that shaped what is now described as old time fiddling on the Appalachian frontier in the late 18th and 19th century. He will play tunes on the fiddle to illustrate his lecture.

Jabbour retired from federal service two years ago, after serving for 23 years as the founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Retirement has allowed him to play the fiddle more often and he has just released a new CD entitled "A Henry Reed Reunion," presenting 21 tunes from the repertory of his mentor on the fiddle, the legendary Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia, who died in 1968.

Born in 1942 in Jacksonville, Jabbour put himself through college at the University of Miami playing classical music. While a graduate student at Duke University in the 1960s, he began documenting old time fiddlers in the Upper South. He taught a repertory of old time fiddle tunes to his band, the Hollow Rock String Band, which was an important link in the instrumental music revival in the 1960s. He also played violin with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

After receiving his Ph.D. in 1968, he taught English, folklore, and ethnomusicology at UCLA in 1968-69. He then moved to Washington, D.C., for more than 30 years of service with federal cultural agencies. He was head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress 1969-74, director of the folk arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts 1974-76, and director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress 1976-99.