July 1, 2008 -- Virginia traditional music icon Bob Zentz is joined by Southern California singer-songwriter (and Hampton Roads native) Jeanne McDougall in writing and scoring the music for a new outdoor drama that tells of the story of John Smith's harrowing encounter with a stingray 400 years ago this July.
"The Stingray Point Story," written by Deltaville author Raynell Smith, tells how Smith and his shallop crew came to visit this part of the Chesapeake, and relates the events that led to the naming of Stingray Point. Learn more about “The Stingray Point Story” at http://www.deltavilleva.com/museumpark/
A performance will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, July 17 -- the actual anniversary of the stingray encounter -- and again on Saturday, July 19, when NOAA will dedicate the latest of its markers along the John Smith National Water Trail, at Stingray Point. Contact the Deltaville Maritime Museum for ticket information.
Zentz and McDougall -- longtime friends who occasionally perform and compose together -- began the project several months ago, after Raynell Smith (no relation to John) contacted the noted Chesapeake Bay musician to ask for his help in putting music to her script. McDougall, a grad student at the University of Southern California, consulted with music and history faculty at USC to produce original music and instrumentation consistent with early 17th century musical practices familiar to both American Indians and English explorers. Zentz and McDougall shared the writing of the six original songs, and McDougall scored the play.
Information about the individual songs is available at www.bobzentz.com/linernotes.virginiana1.htm
The six original songs appear on the CD "Musical Virginiana, Vol. 1," to be released at the pageant debut on Thursday, July 17, in Deltaville. In addition to music from "The Stingray Point Story," the new CD also includes traditional music tracks recorded by Zentz and McDougall for “It Happened In The White House,” Norfolk storyteller Lynn Ruehlmann’s dramatic presentation of true stories of the lives of the eight Virginia presidents and their wives, near the banks of the Potomac River. Learn more about “It Happened In The White House” at http://www.cascadingstories.com/
Noted multi-instrumentalist Zentz plays period instruments including hurdy-gurdy, cittern and bodhran on the Stingray Point recordings, while McDougall plays recorder, Indian flute, doumbek and gourd rattle; in addition, both provide vocals for the original sea shanty "Roll, Rappahannock." At the performances, Zentz and McDougall will be be joined by noted Richmond percussionist and violin-maker John Larrimore on English and American Indian percussion instruments, and Southern California singer-songwriter Alex McDougall on cittern and percussion.
Zentz and McDougall will also perform on July 4 at Colonial Williamsburg's Hennage Auditorium, at the DeWitt-Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, for two performances before the evening fireworks, sharing the stage with acclaimed traditional musicians Sparky and Rhonda Rucker.
For five decades, Bob Zentz has been at the heart of the Hampton Roads traditional music scene. The Norfolk native performs internationally yet still lives and performs in his hometown, and is active in nurturing the next generation of traditional music performers, in the belief that the future of our world depends upon our youth, and music. Information about Bob's music, life, friends, performances, and programs for all ages – elementary school to elders – is available at www.bobzentz.com
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