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Jug Blues and Fat Pickin'

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Don Freund

Don Freund

General Info

Year: 1986 / 1990
Duration: c. 8:45
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Freundworks Publishing   /   MMB Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental Only, contact MMB Music   |   Score (Purchase) - $50.00


Full Score
Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet (optional)
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet = I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Clash Cymbals
  • Cowbell
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Pie Pan
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Slit Wood Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Timbales
  • Tom-Tom (3:large, small and middle)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Jug Blues and Fat Pickin' was written in 1986 and revised in 1990. Originally commissioned for the celebration of Tennessee's "Homecoming'86," it is without peer in the wind band repertoire. Inspired by recording of the Memphis Jug Band, the most recorded and perhaps most popular of the jug bands to spring up on Memphis's Beale Street in the late 1920s, and bluegrass banjo pickin', Freund's composition is a unique musical offering that melds "blues elements" with minimalist technique.

The blues should howl, whine, and wail like a harmonica solo, with the same freedom and indulgence one might hear in an unaccompanied blues improvisation. The entire blues must have an unmetered cadenza-like quality. The blues should never drag; the slowed-down sections must have great color and intensity of expression, whether sighing or wailing. The Pickin' doesn't need to be too fast, but has to have the kind of easy-going, self-gratifying, clear-headed virtuosity that characterized great pickers. The performer should communicate a spirit of good, clean, exuberant fun.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Wind Ensemble (Matthew McCutchen, conductor) - 12 February 2021
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony I (Kyle Rieger, conductor) – 22 September 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Tim Smith, conductor) – 10 March 2019
  • University of Evansville (Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Zifer, conductor) – 26 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)
  • University of Chicago (Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Chip De Stefano, conductor) – 12 November 2017
  • New Orleans (La.) Concert Band (Charles Taylor, conductor) – 15 October 2017
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor) – 2 March 2017
  • Cornell University (Ithaca,N.Y.) Wind Symphony (James Spinazzola, conductor) – 2 October 2016
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Jaclyn Hartenberger, conductor) – 25 April 2016
  • University of Evansville Wind Ensemble (Timothy Zifer, conductor) – 26 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Conference, Ames, Iowa)
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Wind Ensemble (Brad Snow, conductor) – 22 February 2016
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Steven Pratt, conductor) - 26 March 2015 (2015 CBDNA National Conference, Nashville)
  • Colorado Wind Ensemble (Denver) (David Kish, conductor) - 28 March 2015
  • Indiana University Wind Ensemble (Stephen Pratt, conductor) - 17 February 2015
  • Concordia Santa Fe Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor) - 15 March 2009
  • Cornell University Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor) - March 2008
  • USAF Heartland of America Band (Captain Michael J. Willen, conductor) - 5 performances, 7-11 March 2008
  • Trinity University Symphonic Wind Ensemble (James Worman, conductor) - 28 February & 20 April 2008
  • University of Western Ontario Wind Ensemble (Colleen Richardson, conductor) - 27 March 2008
  • Kennesaw State University Band (Peter Witte, conductor) - 14 November 2007

Works for Winds by this Composer