DMI fundraiser features award-winning singer-songwriters

Award-winning singer-songwriters Ashley Cleveland, Pam Tillis, Karen Staley and Tricia Walker will be joining forces in Cleveland for a unique evening of songs and stories to benefit the Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University.

The Original Women in the Round will be performing two shows “Bluebird Café style” on Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Delta Meat Market in downtown Cleveland.

This talented foursome was the first female “in the round” group at the Bluebird Café, one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms, located in Nashville, Tennessee. Their first show together was in 1988, and they have continued to perform together for selected dates over the years. This “in the round” performance will consist of the songwriters seated in the center of the room, taking turns playing their songs and accompanying each other instrumentally and with harmony vocals.

Ashley Cleveland is a three-time GRAMMY® and two-time Dove Award winner who has released eight critically acclaimed albums. “God Don’t Never Change” features songs rooted firmly in a host of traditions — black spirituals, folks songs, 18th century hymns, gospel blues, and jubilee. The disc was nominated for a 2010 GRAMMY® Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album. Cleveland resides in Nashville with her husband, Kenny Greenberg, and their three children, Rebecca, Henry and Lily.

As the child of Country Music Royalty, Pam Tillis was determined from a young age to find her own way in music as a singer and songwriter. Her album “Put Yourself In My Place” yielded two No. 1 and two Top 5 singles in its first year when the album was certified gold. Tillis followed with three platinum albums on Arista Records. Tillis achieved six No. 1 songs during this time, including “Shake the Sugar Tree,” “Mi Vida Loca,” “When You Walk In The Room,” “In Between Dances,” “Don’t Tell Me What To Do,” and “Maybe It Was Memphis.” Tillis is a two-time GRAMMY award winner, six-time GRAMMY nominee, and a three-time CMA award winner, including Female Vocalist Of The Year in 1994. She is also a proud member of The Grand Ole Opry.

Karen Staley was born in Weirton, West Virginia and was raised in nearby rural Hookstown, Pennsylvania in the Tri-State area of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. She is a 30-year veteran of the Nashville music industry and has been involved in every facet of the business, from songwriting and performing to touring, recording and producing. Staley’s songs have been nominated for GRAMMY, Dove and International Bluegrass Awards, and her song “Keeper Of The Stars” won the ACM Song of The Year award and was featured on CMT’s “100 Greatest Country Love Songs of All Time” TV special.

Tricia Walker is a singer and songwriter whose songs are steeped in the passion, pain and grace of the American South. Born and raised in Mississippi, Walker has become one of the clearest voices of her own time and place. Her music has been recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss, whose performance of Tricia’s “Looking in the Eyes of Love” earned a GRAMMY award. A recording artist herself, Walker’s CD, “The Heart of Dixie,” thoughtfully captures the songwriter’s view of the South with well-placed lyrics and music reflecting her folk, R&B and storytelling influences.

Eighty-five tickets will be available for purchase for each of the two shows. Tickets are $100 (including DMM buffet-style dinner)  and may be purchased by calling the DMI office at 662-846-4579 between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon Monday-Thursday.

The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelors degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

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