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Del McCoury Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band to blend bluegrass & jazz at Red Butte Garden

Published June 8, 2012 4:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Del McCoury's bluegrass band convened in 2010 to record an album together, the band members were trading songs when someone suggested "Mullensburg Joys."That's a Bill Monroe song, McCoury said. The 73-year-old bluegrass standard-bearer should know: McCoury used to sing and play rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys back in the 1960s.Ben Jaffe, leader of the Jazz Band, politely corrected McCoury, telling him the song was actually written by jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton.Remarkably, the song was in both bands' repertories. "Oh, my God, we're not that far apart," Jaffe said he thought at the time.Blending bluegrass and jazz struck some listeners as a novelty when the album "American Legacies" was released in 2011, but Jaffe and McCoury will tell you the American genres are close bedfellows."It's not Chinese food on top of a pizza," Jaffe said. "It works together."

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American LegaciesPreservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band will perform a mixed concert — jazz and bluegrass — at Red Butte Garden.When » Sunday, June 10, at 7 p.m.Where » Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake CityTickets » $35 for Garden members, $40 for others, at redbuttegarden.org or 801-585-0556.

Check out the pairing here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZflO132rEg