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Blues In The Schools

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Chris Murphy's Blues In The Schools
Left to right: Kim Ladd, Ted Leonard, Doug Varty, Denise Pelley, Chris Murphy, Tim Tyler

London based entertainer Chris Murphy has developed a fast paced 60 minute educational Blues Show that is age appropriate for elementary school students. The show has been kid-tested at more than 100 schools and could best be described as EDUTAINMENT. The interactive presentation introduces the students to the history and cultural significance of blues music.

Blues music originated in the Southern United States in the late 1800’s when African slave traditions mixed with European culture. The music has undergone many changes over the years and continues to be a major influence on popular music and culture in the 21st century.

The show features 6 of London’s most accomplished full-time professional entertainers including: actress and vocalist Denise Pelley. Students participate in an interactive songwriting exercise, sing some response vocals and enjoy learning about the history of this great art form. At some schools a student with musical talent may be asked to jam with the band.

The show is priced to be affordable and has been staged more than 100 times. About half of the performances have been in the London area. The show has also been performed in: Stratford, Simcoe, Brantford, Woodstock, Exeter, Clinton, Kincardine, Owen Sound, Caledonia, Strathroy and Burford.

Note: Some schools may qualify for co-sponsorship funding.

The entertainers provide all of the sound equipment.

Contact: Chris 519-668-6443

Blues In The Schools on A Channel.

Chris MurphyChris Murphy / Saxophones, Vocals and MC

Chris became a professional entertainer at age 17. He has performed at Blues Festivals in Canada, the United States and Mexico. He has released 3 CD's, won the Jack Richardson Music Award for Blues in 2008 and 2010, and been nominated 11 times for a Maple Blues Award. Besides touring with his own groups, he has toured with Juno Award Winner Jack DeKeyzer, Alberta Adams (Detroit's Queen of the Blues) and the Canadian All Star Ensemble the Maple Blues Revue. In 2008, Chris starting teaching instrumental music part-time at Matthews Hall private elementary school.

Denise PelleyDenise Pelley / Vocalist

Denise is affectionately known as London’s first lady of song. She has recorded 3 CD’s and recently showcased a one woman play JAZZABEL in New York City. Denise started singing the blues while still in high school and was recently featured in an article in O Magazine. She also appears regularly as a featured artist with Orchestras, including the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

Ted Leonard / Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Vocals

Ted was the winner of the Maple Blues Award in 1998 as Canada’s finest Blues Guitarist. He is a member of Juno Award Winning Band Fathead. He also tours in Canada, the United States and Europe with Paul Reddick, The Maple Blues Revue, The Village Blues Band and Pork Belly Futures.

Doug Varty / Organ, Piano, Harmonicia & Vocals

Doug Varty has been part of Canada's music scene since the mid 70's. In 2003, he won the London Music Award for Best Blues Musician.  Doug Varty's voice is featured on televisions show themes for, Timothy Goes to School and Hang Time and for jingles for: Coke, Pepsi, T S C Stores, Harveys, Swiss Chalet , Labatts, Tim Hortons and others. He is currently touring with several bands and also teaches both music and

Kim Ladd / Electric and Acoustic Bass

Kim has a music degree from Humber College and is one of London’s most in demand bass players.

Ted Peacock / Drums

Ted has music degrees from both the University of Western Ontario and Humber College.  He has recorded with Juno nominated Big Daddy G, The Bill Durst Band, Suffer Machine, Chris Murphy and Emm Gryner. He is the leader of the his own band, Soul Bender, and also performs with the VIllage Blues Band.



G Everyday I Have the Blues
Written by Peter Cheatman aka Memphis Slim
Sung by Denise Solo's from Guitar, Saxophone and Organ

G Stormy Monday Blues
Written by T-Bone Walker Sung by Denise

E Belluh Land/ Nine Pound Hammer / Jesus on the Mainline / Do Lord, Do you Remember Me / This Little Light of Mine
All traditional gospel blues tunes.
First three sung by Ted / last two by Denise

G Homework Blues
Written by Maria Auregema (Blues Guitarist and Elementary School Teacher from Buffalo) Written by Maria Auregema sung by Chris

A Harmonicia Train Demonstration by Doug

A Sweet Home Chicago (Acoustic) / Going to Chicago Blues
Written by Robert Johnson sung by Doug
Written by Pete Johnson sung Denise

G Drum Demonstration / Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Written by Proffessor Longhair sung by Ted

G Blues in the Closet
Written by Oscar Pettiford
Features Kim on Acoustic Bass / Denise demonstrates Scat Singing

G Papa's Blues
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber from the play Starlight Express
Sung by Denise

G Students Compose a Blues Tune
Sung by Chris


Eb Houndog / bluesy
Written by Big Mama Thornton
Sung by Denise / Features a Baritone Sax solo by Chris

C Houndog / rock & roll in the style of Elvis Presley.
Written by Big Mama Thornton
Sung by Doug

A Slide Guitar Demonstration by Ted

A I Can't Hold Out / Talk to Me Baby
Written by Elmore James
Sung by Chris / features Ted on Slide Guitar
Students sing response vocals

E Superstition
Written by Stevie Wonder
Sung by Denise / at some schools the students dance

E Give The Drummer Some Rap
Written & sung by Chris Murphy


F Let the Good Times Roll Medley
Written by Louis Jordan Sung By Denise / students sings response vocals

F Crazy About a Saxophone
Written and sung by Chris Murphy

F Baby What You Want Me To Do
Written by Jimmy Reed sung by Ted

F Sweet Home Chicago
Written by Robert Johnson sung by Doug

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