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Quad Cities Native Returns to Teach Music at Black Hawk College

Kendrick, Corey.jpg
Jessica D. Cowles
/
Black Hawk College
Jazz pianist Corey Kendrick will be on the full-time faculty of Black Hawk College this fall.

Black Hawk College is welcoming back a familiar face to its instrumental music program.

Jazz pianist, composer, and recording artist Corey Kendrick has returned to the Quad Cities from Detroit and will be teaching music courses full-time at the Black Hawk Quad Cities Campus in Moline.

A 36-year-old graduate of North Scott High School, Kendrick grew up in Park View, Iowa, less than 30 minutes from the Quad Cities Campus. He earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 2008 and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University in 2015.

Before moving to Michigan to pursue his master’s degree, Kendrick spent the 2012-13 school year as a part-time BHC instructor. He coordinated the 2013 BHC Jazz Festival and taught in the 2013 BHC Summer Jazz Camp for high school, college, and community musicians.

In 2016, he recorded his debut album, “Rootless,” in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of mostly
original compositions. In 2018, he returned to the Quad Cities for a five-day visiting artist residency through Quad City Arts.

Crockett, Edgar.jpg
Black Hawk College
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Jazz trumpeter Edgar Crockett retired this year from Black Hawk College, Moline.

Kendrick is back in the Q-C permanently and replacing longtime BHC music professor Dr. Edgar Crockett, who retired this year and has been a mentor, teacher, and performing partner for the pianist. Kendrick is honored to fill his shoes.

“It's a huge responsibility. Edgar is in an institution in the Quad City music scene and he's really kind of helped keep jazz alive in the Quad Cities.”

“There's a big community around Bix’s music, and early 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s jazz. But I think it was a little bit of a gap -- not a whole lot of people who were into kind of bebop and Blue Note, and the kind of 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s sort of stuff, and Edgar is way into that. And I think as a result, I'm heavily into bebop music.

“Something about it has always kind of resonated with me. And I think a lot of that goes back to working with and studying with Edgar. It’s an honor to be able to keep that tradition going and I want to continue a lot of the stuff that, a lot of the work that he's done been doing at Black Hawk. For many years, they’ve had their jazz festival, where they bring in a guest artist.”

He’s been consistently impressed with the high caliber of artists the Black Hawk jazz festival attracts and he admires the positive atmosphere regarding music at BHC. Kendrick says it’s more laid-back than many music schools.

“It's a cool thing to be involved with, ‘cause I think some music schools - every place has a different atmosphere and I think a lot of that is very top-down. Edgar is a very friendly, warm, caring person. And I think you see that in the atmosphere at the college, and that's something that I really plan on continuing.

“I mean there's some places where music can be kind of competitive and cutthroat, and you've got people trying to get the top spot or first chair, but the program at Black Hawk is not like that and it's very friendly. It's very supportive.”

That’s how the arts should be, Kendrick says, as musicians literally collaborate and
cooperate to perform together.

“It’s not a competition, where there’s winners and losers. But it’s everyone just
trying to better themselves. I think a supportive community like that just helps
foster growth and helps get everybody where they’re trying to go.”

Kendrick plans to have the BHC Jazz Ensemble performing gigs in the community and eventually would like to start a summer jazz camp for high school and middle school band students.

Students interested in playing in the BHC Jazz Ensemble or who want to learn more about the BHC instrumental music program can contact Kendrick at kendrickc@bhc.edu.
New BHC students can apply at www.bhc.edu/apply and returning students can
register for Fall 2021 classes at www.bhc.edu/register.

Formerly the arts and entertainment reporter for The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and Quad-City Times, Jonathan Turner now writes freelance for WVIK and QuadCities.com. He has experience writing for daily newspapers for 32 years and has expertise across a wide range of subject areas, including government, politics, education, the arts, economic development, historic preservation, business, and tourism. He loves writing about music and the arts, as well as a multitude of other topics including features on interesting people, places, and organizations. He has a passion for accompanying musicals, singers, choirs, and instrumentalists. He even wrote his own musical based on The Book of Job, which premiered at Playcrafters in 2010. He wrote a 175-page history book about downtown Davenport, which was published by The History Press in 2016. Turner was honored in 2009 to be among 24 arts journalists nationwide to take part in a 10-day fellowship offered by the National Endowment for the Arts in New York City on classical music and opera, based at Columbia University’s journalism school.