Lecture Recitals

My lecture recitals focus on American Vernacular Music 1890-1930.  They combine my experience as a pianist and singer with my background as a musicologist.  And while I aim to make them sophisticated in their presentation, they are accessible to a wide range of audiences. These are some of the most popular programs:

• Rags, Blues and All That Jazz
An exploration of these three styles of American music  tracing emergence and development. Details»

• Pioneers of Ragtime
What ragtime is, how it arose, and why it’s important.  Details»

• “Grace and Beauty”: The Rise of Black Popular Music
Inspirational recital that explores the treasury of songs and instrumentals written by black popular composers from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Details»

•”Give me Doctor Jazz”: The Genesis of an American Art Form
A lecture recital that shows how jazz developed in the first decades of the twentieth century by the rhythmical freeing-up of ragtime.  Details»

• “It Don’t Mean Thing”: Popular Music of the 1930s
A toe-tapping, finger snapping exploration of the music of the Depression and Swing Era, featuring the music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, George Gershwin and many others. Details»

• The Worlds of “Rhapsody in Blue”
Culminating in a performance of the work itself, this recital celebrates the diverse styles that came together to form Gershwin’s masterpiece. Details»

• “My Yiddishe Momme”: Jews and the Rise of American Popular Song
Explores the impact of Jewish people and culture on American popular song in the period 1890-1925.  Featuring the timeless music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and others.   Details»

• “Nothin’ But a Good Man Feelin’ Bad”: The Rise of Blues (1900-1930)
Drawing on ground-breaking research, Dr. Muir traces the emergence and early development of blues.  Details»• “`S Wonderful”: The Genius of George Gershwin
A lecture-recital exploring the multi-faceted talent of arguably the greatest of American composers, George Gershwin (1898-1937). Details»

•”I Love a Piano”: Neglected Gems of the American Parlor
Explores the neglected musical treasures created for the American parlor at its heyday 1900-1920. Details»