The classical and jazz crossover artist Willis Delony performed at Elon University for the third time at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in Whitley Auditorium. For many audience members, this was their first time seeing Delony perform.
Senior Eva Pierce was required to go to the recital for MUS 3702: Music in the Village class and said she thoroughly enjoyed it and would go to this recital again.
“I really liked the last piece, ‘Stardust,’ and I also really liked the Debussy Improvisations,” Pierce said.
Jim Roberts, instructor of music, said he also enjoyed the piece “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael, especially since he has an emotional tie to it.
“I’m partial to ‘Stardust,’ as it was my mother’s favorite piece,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he met Delony earlier that evening and comes to events hosted by the music department often
Delony has been performing for over four decades and has played as a piano soloist, guest pianist, chamber musician and jazz artist and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina.
This was Delony’s third time playing at Elon, the first two being in 2009 and 2013. Delony said the pieces he performed in Whitley were some of his favorite pieces to play.
“Debussy is one of my favorite composers, so that’s why I play so much of it,” Delony said. “And the jazz tunes that I played are some of my favorites too.”
Delony has recorded multiple piano recordings, his earliest one dating back to 2001 entitled “A New World A’ Comin’- Classical and Jazz Connections.” His most recent one is called “Between the Notes,” which was released by Centaur on Nov. 5, 2021. Delony said that he also has a new project with a violinist that is going to come out later this year.
“Those pieces by Joe Makholm that I played tonight, I’m going to record all of those plus all of the others that I didn’t play tonight,” Delony said. “We’re going to do a recording project to that later this year, too”
Delony’s next performance will be in Paris, but he said he hopes to perform at Elon again in the future.