School of the Arts

Sundays at Two: Blues Is...?

David Dvorin Goes Back to His Roots in Upcoming Recital, Blues Is...?

David Dvorin playing guitar
David Dvorin

CSU, Chico’s Department of Music and Theatre presents the recital Blues Is…? as part of the Sundays at Two recital series. The recital takes place Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. in Zingg Recital Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Blues Is…? spotlights composition faculty member David Dvorin. Dvorin is a CSU, Chico Department of Music and Theatre faculty member. Dvorin is an active performer on guitar and electronics, and is part of the chamber-jazz duo Pull-String. In contrast to his typical styles of chamber music and electronics, this concert’s theme is blues and musical compositions that influenced Dvorin when he was younger. 

A few pieces that will be performed at the recital include:

  • “I’m the Flounder,” which was originally written as a pun on “I am the Walrus”
  • A piece for modular synthesizer and guitar that draws its inspiration from Blind Willie Johnson’s 1927 recording of “Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)” which was included on the Voyager Satellite’s historic gold record
  • An arrangement of Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso”
  • An arrangement of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Forty Four”

“A lot of times I’m experimenting and pushing the boundaries a bit, so it felt good to go back to my roots,” Dvorin said. 

In addition to Dvorin on guitar, the recital also features Randy McKean (bass clarinet and tenor saxophone), Clifford Childers (bass trumpet, trombone, and harmonica), and Tim Bulkley (drums).

“Cliff and Randy performed with me last year for a recital based on ‘Pinocchio.’ We had so much fun, we wanted to do it again this year,” Dvorin said.

A majority of the concerts in the Sundays at Two series focus on classical music, making this blues-influenced recital unique. 

“It’s based on themes I think we can all resonate with.” Dvorin said. “And I feel that the blues is one of the core pieces of what makes American music different from European and other music around the world. I think it touches a part of the human soul that’s profound and unique.”

This recital is a chance to hear, for free, a unique mixture of musical styles not often presented in the Chico area.

“There’s a lot of spontaneous creativity, a lot of improvisation, and a lot of unusual combinations of instruments,” Dvorin said. “It’ll get your foot tapping.” 

Zingg Recital Hall is located on the first floor of the Arts and Humanities building. For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts website and Facebook page.


Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts publicity assistant

About the Musician

David Dvorin in blue shirt playing guitar

David Dvorin is an Emmy-nominated composer, guitarist, author, and educator who has had his concert music performed in numerous new music and multimedia festivals around the United States and Europe. Versatile in both electronic and acoustic music mediums, he has written for and collaborated with such notable artists as Terry Riley, the California E.A.R. Unit and the Kronos Quartet. In addition to producing several CDs and DVDs of his compositional work, Dvorin is active as a performer on both guitar and electronics, preferring the intimate musical interactions of small ensemble settings such as duos and trios. Some of his current performance projects include his chamber-jazz duo, Pull-String with violinist Matej Seda, and the electro-acoustic duo, Zap! with multi-reeds player Randy McKean. His textbook, Logic Pro X: Advanced Music Production, now in its fourth edition, has been adopted by educational institutions worldwide, and is the basis for Apple Computer’s certified training. Dvorin has also served as a professional consultant to music technology companies such as Native Instruments and Apple Computer. Dvorin has been on the faculty at California State University, Chico since 2006, teaching composition, electronic music and recording arts. He is also the Artistic Director for the annual New Music Symposium, which showcases the work of young composers and brings acclaimed contemporary composers and performers to the North State area of California.