KU News Release

March 1, 2011
Contact: Marisa Bregman, Lied Center, 785-864-2722

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band to perform April 13 at Lied Center

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Lied Center of Kansas will present the Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band performing American folk and traditional music at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13.

Recognizing 2011 as the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Grammy Award winners Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band will perform music related to military conflict and civilian life, as well as songs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“During the civil war period, [American] music really took on its own character,” said Unger in a webcam interview with the Lied Center, viewable at lied.ku.edu. “It has roots in Scottish and Irish music but also a lot of influences from African and other cultures that have mixed together here in America.”

Becoming a state on Jan. 29, 1861, Kansas is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and Lied Center Executive Director Tim Van Leer saw this as an opportunity.

“2011 is the 150th year of Kansas, but another important reason we scheduled this particular event in April was to recognize the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. The Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861,” Van Leer said.

Husband and wife duo Ungar and Mason are best known for Ungar’s emotionally moving composition “Ashokan Farewell,” a piece selected as the theme song for Ken Burns’ 1990 PBS documentary series, “The Civil War,” which earned him a Grammy Award and an Emmy Award nomination.

Ungar and Mason began their work together in the late 1970s and have since become one of the most celebrated duos on the American acoustic music scene. The group’s concerts include fiddle music from traditions including Appalachian, bluegrass, Cajun, Canadian, Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian, and jazz. The ensemble’s shows feature traditional music — popular long before the introduction of records and radio — as well as lively dance tunes, sentimental ballads and rousing marches heard in homes and on the frontline during the Civil War.

The group has appeared on “Great Performances,” “A Prairie Home Companion,” its own public radio specials and on film soundtracks such as “Brother’s Keeper” and “Legends of the Fall.”

Tickets are on sale at the Lied Center ticket office, 785-864-2787 or 785-864-2777 TDD; Murphy Hall box office, (785) 864-3982; and online at lied.ku.edu. Tickets are $24 for the public and $5 for students and youth. All seats are reserved. Discounts may apply.

Note to editors: High-resolution images and digital media materials can be accessed at lied.ku.edu/press. This information is for news media only.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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