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Bologna Performing Arts Center

Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Oct. 20. A special pre-show dinner will take place in the Jimmy & Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden.

Big band performance and sculpture garden dinner planned at BPAC

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Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and their fiery hot 17-piece big band Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The event will also feature a pre-show dinner and live music in the Jimmy & Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden.

All across America, audiences have fallen in love with these two sophisticated Southern gentleman and their high-energy show. Along with the greatest songs, the best original arrangements, and phenomenal musicianship, the duo brings their rich friendship and charm to the stage.

Fashioned in the style and swagger of legendary entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Davis and Johnson are putting their own stamp on the great American songbook, graced with a touch of Motown, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Elvis and more. The show offers a freshness and relevance that speaks to every soul.

Prior to the show, the sculpture garden will feature a special dinner and live music. Delta Meat Market will be cooking on site offering select items for purchase. Tours will also be available of the recently installed sculptures in the garden. Dinner is scheduled from 5:45-7:15 p.m., and the main performance begins on stage at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $25-35 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 662-846-4626 or purchase tickets online at www.bolognapac.com. Tickets to the performance are not required to attend the dinner, as food purchases may be made on site.

For more information, stop by the Bologna Center Ticket Office, call 662-846-4626 or visit www.bolognapac.com.

GRAMMY Award nominee Bobby Rush (left) and James “Super Chikan” Johnson will be featured in a free concert at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

Bobby Rush and Super Chikan launch “Storytellers” tour at Delta State

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Blues legends Bobby Rush and James “Super Chikan” Johnson have teamed up to perform a free concert at Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Center on Oct.6. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m, and the concert will begin at 7 p.m.

The event, “The Storytellers featuring Bobby Rush and Super Chikan: Up Close and Personal,” will be the closing activity for Delta State’s second annual International Conference on the Blues, which is part of the institution’s International Delta Blues Project.

The concert is free and open to the public through sponsorship from the IDBP and the BPAC.

“We are always pleased to present free programming for our community,” said Laura Howell, executive director of the BPAC. “This partnership with the International Delta Blues Project provides a great opportunity for access to these incredible blues musicians and the stories they have to tell.”

“Storytellers” is a stripped-down concert format that invites music lovers of all ages and backgrounds to experience two renowned blues artists singing and telling stories about their lives, careers, the blues and the Mississippi Delta in distinctly personal ways.

“This concert is about telling where I come from and where my people come from — the Mississippi Delta,” said Rush. “It is about sharing my life and the lives of people who came before me. It’s about impacting the lives of those who are coming after me.

“I am 81-years-old. Now that B.B. King has passed, I am the oldest blues singer in the world. I want to tell the story of where the blues came from, what it is about and where it should go. These are stories that need to be told. I want to educate people about this, and Delta State’s International Conference on the Blues is the place to start.”

Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, is thrilled to bring the talented musicians to campus.

“We are excited that Bobby Rush and Super Chikan chose Delta State, the home of the International Delta Blues Project, as the place to launch their tour,” said Herts. “This concert is part of a broader effort to promote Delta State, Cleveland, and the Mississippi Delta as leading destinations for Blues music and culture. We also are pleased that generous support from the Hearin Foundation and our partnership with the BPAC allow us to make this live concert event free for Delta residents and visitors.”

The “Storytellers” concert is featured on the live music performance schedule for the Bridging the Blues Festival, an annual series of September and October events across Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee celebrating the rich music and culture of the region.

A GRAMMY Award nominee, Bobby Rush is the winner of multiple Blues Music Awards including Soul Blues Album of the Year, Acoustic Album of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year. Rolling Stone magazine named him “The King of the Chitlin’ Circuit,” a distinguished African American cultural heritage designation that pays homage to the Southern network of clubs, theaters, halls and juke joints that catered to black audiences during the racially segregated Jim Crow Era. Rush has recorded over 100 albums in his more than 60-year career. He continues to perform over 200 shows a year from Mississippi to Japan and headlines major festivals and concerts for upwards of 20,000 people a night.

James “Super Chikan” Johnson is the recipient of the Mississippi’s Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts and the recipient of the prestigious Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. He is a native of Darling, Miss., a rural Mississippi Delta community located in Quitman County. As a boy growing up in the country, he was fascinated by his family’s chickens, thus earning him the nickname “Chicken.” His critically acclaimed debut album, “Blues Come Home to Roost,” featured songs about humorous and serious aspects of life in the Mississippi Delta. The album earned him awards for Best Blues Album and Best Debut Album from the 1998 Living Blues Magazine Awards.

For more information about the “Storytellers” concert, visit http://bolognapac.com/events/the-storytellers-featuring-bobby-rush-and-super-chikan-up-close-and-personal/.

For over 21 years, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University has been bringing together artists and audiences to celebrate the arts and enrich the cultural life of the Delta community. For more information on upcoming performances, visit www.bolognapac.com.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/.

The Four Tops will perform at the BPAC Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The Four Tops to Perform in Cleveland

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The legendary music group The Four Tops will perform live in concert Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University.

The quartet, originally called The Four Aims, made their first single for Chess Records in 1956, but their first Motown hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving” in 1964, made them stars.

Their ’60s track record on the label is indispensable to any retrospective of the decade, and their songs, soulful and bittersweet, were across-the-board successes. Their sound lives on decades later with founding member Abdul “Duke” Fakir and well known hits like “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “It’s The Same Old Song,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” and “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got).”

With over 24 Top 40 pop hits to their credit, the Four Tops have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and have received the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. Tickets to see the quartet are $30-45 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 662-846-4626 or visit online at www.bolognapac.com.

The BPAC has several additional programs planned for October, including a matinee based on the book by Roald Dahl, “The B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant)” on Oct. 14 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. for school groups. The event is sponsored by AT&T. Also on the calendar is a 17-piece big band concert, Davis and Johnson & the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra on Oct. 20. Additionally, the BPAC and the International Delta Blues Project are co-presenting “The Storytellers featuring Bobby Rush and Super Chickan: Up Close and Personal” in a free concert on Oct. 6.

For more information on the upcoming season of performances, stop by the BPAC, call 662-846-4626, or visit www.bolognapac.com.

The supergroup The Time Jumpers will play at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

BPAC kicks off 21st season

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For 21 years now, the Bologna Performing Arts Center has been presenting the best of arts and entertainment on the campus of Delta State University. The Main Stage season opens Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. with a performance by The Time Jumpers, featuring Vince Gill, Kenny Sears and “Ranger Doug” Green.

The Time Jumpers is a multi-Grammy nominated supergroup of 10 musicians based in Nashville who have made major contributions to the richness and vigor of country music. The performance is locally sponsored by the Bolivar Medical Center.

Upcoming Main Stage performances include concerts by Motown legends The Four Tops; the 17-piece big band Davis and Johnson & the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra; and multi-platinum country music artist Sara Evans. Three tours of Broadway musicals are planned for 2016: “Annie,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Flashdance the Musical.” There will also be a family-friendly holiday program this winter, “A Very Electric Christmas,” and a contemporary dance performance by L.A.-based company BODYTRAFFIC next spring.

The BPAC also presents a School-Time Matinee Series throughout each school year, featuring hour-long productions targeted at students in grades preK-12. The first matinee is The B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant) scheduled for Oct. 14 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

For more information on the upcoming season of performances, stop by the BPAC, visit www.bolognapac.com or call 662-846-4626.