‘Schoolhouse Rock’ composer Bob Dorough to kick off summer jazz series July 13

Bob Dorough.

Staff photo

Bebop pianist, vocalist, and composer Bob Dorough is coming to Fayetteville this week.

Dorough will kick off KUAF’s Summer Jazz Series, presented by the North Arkansas Jazz Society, with a performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 13 at the Walton Arts Center’s Starr Theatre.

In his lifetime, Dorough has had two fan bases; a cult that adores him as a jazz singer/pianist, and a much larger audience that loved the many songs he created and sang for ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock.

In 1971 he received a commission to set the multiplication tables to music, which which led to a small industry as the beginning the long-running Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock from 1973-1985. The show came back for another five years in the 90s and is now enjoying its 30th anniversary with a DVD edition of the entire series, for which Dorough worked as the Musical Director.

Dorough is also known as one of (if not the only) singer to record with Miles Davis, recording Nothing Like You and Blue Xmas with Davis in 1962. Davis also recorded an instrumental version of Bob’s classic song, Devil May Care that same year.

Local musicians Drew Packard (bass) and Steve Wilkes (drums) will join Dorough for the performance.

Tickets are $25, and are on sale now at waltonartscenter.org.