Delta Music Institute

Taylor Henry to perform Levitt concert

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Taylor Henry will perform a free concert in downtown Cleveland on Sept. 8 at 7:45 p.m. as part of the Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series. Jessica Faith of the Delta Music Institute will open for Henry at 7 p.m.

Henry, a pop-rock craftsman, pairs his pure tenor voice with rhythmic, soulful guitar. His upbeat, original sound is marked by lyrical simplicity and warm authenticity. This up-and-coming singer-songwriter lives in Nashville and has shared the stage with country singer Blake Shelton, American Idol runner-up Bo Bice and The Charlie Daniels Band.

The concert will take place on the downtown Green Space near College Avenue.

Airport Grocery will sell food and Delta Dairy will sell frozen treats. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, ice chests and bug repellant. Glass bottles are not allowed.

The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series is supported in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation that empowers towns and cities across America to transform neglected public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music. In 2016, more than 450 free Levitt concerts will take place in 21 towns and cities, all featuring a rich array of music genres and high caliber talent. Within the region is the Levitt Shell in Memphis with concerts taking place this May, June, July, September and October. Learn more at and

The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series is also sponsored by the Delta Music Institute, Delta State University, Delta State Student Government Association, the city of Cleveland, Quality Steel, Alan Morgan, DSU Quality Enhancement Program, Automark, Cleveland Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, and Team Cleveland.

For more information about series, visit or call the Chamber of Commerce at 662-843-2712.

Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series begins tonight

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The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series launches tonight at 7 p.m. with the Southern Komfort Brass Band, bringing the joy of free, live music to downtown Cleveland’s Green Space for the next 10 weeks.

Thanks to a $25,000 matching grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation supporting the largest free outdoor concert series in America, the Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series promises high quality entertainment and good times for everyone.

Taylor Henry

Taylor Henry

Those attending are encouraged to bring family and friends, along with picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the open lawn setting of the Green Space.

All Levitt AMP concerts are free and open to the public.

Visit for the full concert series and location information.

Nashville’s Taylor Henry, a pop-rock craftsman pairing his pure tenor voice with rhythmic, soulful guitar, is slated for Sept. 8, and the music of Scotland, Ireland, and early America with Chambless & Muse on Sept. 13.

chambless & muse

Chambless & Muse


Concert lineup announced for Levitt AMP CLEVELAND Music Series

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The countdown to an unforgettable season of free concerts under the stars is underway. Today, the Levitt AMP CLEVELAND Music Series announced its impressive lineup of artists who will perform weekly on the Green Space in downtown Cleveland from Aug. 31 through Nov. 3.

Sponsored in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation that empowers communities to transform public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music, the Levitt AMP CLEVELAND Music Series will present 10 free, family-friendly concerts. The series will feature a diverse lineup of high caliber talent spanning genres such as soul, Celtic, jazz, country, pop, Americana and more.

Kicking off the series at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 is Southern Komfort Brass Band. Since the band formed in 2010, Jacksonians have fallen in love with Southern Komfort’s clever takes on cover songs at their performances at festivals, parades, and many of the best venues around the city. While the nine-piece band plays plenty of classic jazz favorites and original tunes, Southern Komfort is also known for applying its signature New Orleans sound to tracks from other genres, such as Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” James Brown’s “ I Feel Good” and Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dream.”

Also scheduled to perform is Taylor Henry on Sept.8. Henry has dedicated his life to using his voice to express his story and emotions in a way that will resonate with people everywhere. He has shared the stage with Blake Shelton, Bo Bice and The Charlie Daniels Band. Future Thieves takes the stage Sept. 22. Future Thieves has been around for two years, yet in that brief time, they have stirred up plenty of attention from fans through Music City and from onstage performances at Bonnaroo and Summerfest. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band follows on Sept. 27. Bands have been covering Beatles tunes for decades, but none like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band. Imagine the music of the Fab Four shaken up with infusions of bluegrass and jazz and topped off with a classical twist. The result: a satisfying musical cocktail. Street Corner Symphony will highlight the Oct. 13 show. Street Corner Symphony is an a cappella group based out of Nashville, Tennessee. They became internationally known in 2010 after becoming runners up on Season 2 of NBC’s all vocal competition, “The Sing-Off.”

Rounding out the schedule are Celtic performers Chambless & Muse on Sept. 13, GRAMMY-nominated Cedric Burnside Project on Oct.3, folk and Americana singer-songwriter Kate Campbell on Oct. 18, salsa big band Latinismo! on Oct. 27, and series favorite Blackwater Trio closing out the 2016 series on Nov. 3.

The public is invited to bring their own picnics, blankets and lawn chairs to the concerts, which will have an open lawn setting. Each night, there will be a local vendor set up to sale food and drinks. The serieswill be located on the green space of the downtown walking trail between Court Street and College Street.

Visit for a full schedule of concerts, directions and information on parking and wheelchair accessibility.

In January, Cleveland was named one of 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25K in matching funds to present the free concert series. Delta State University submitted the Levitt AMP proposal and is presenting the concert series. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation invited the public to choose the Top 25 Finalists through online voting. Learn more about the winners and the 150 free Levitt AMP concerts across America at

DMI fundraiser features award-winning singer-songwriters

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Award-winning singer-songwriters Ashley Cleveland, Pam Tillis, Karen Staley and Tricia Walker will be joining forces in downtown 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 August 23 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Both performances will take place at the Delta Meat Market in 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. 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 number one singles and two top five singles in its first year when the album was certified gold. Tillis followed with three platinum albums on Arista Records. Tillis achieved six number one 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.” She 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, her 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.

Only 100 tickets will be available for purchase for each of the two shows. Tickets are $100 and may be purchased by calling the DMI office at 662-846-4579 between 8:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.

The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s 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

MPB brings youth to DMI for public service announcements

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Students from the Mississippi Public Broadcasting “Can I Kick It?” Summer Media Institute program were on campus Wednesday at the Delta Music Institute to record public service announcements that soon will air on public TV.

CIKI’s institute focuses on leadership, youth empowerment, media literacy and creative entrepreneurship.

“The goal of the CIKI program is to ultimately give students the tools that will allow them to create short stories that address issues that affect their peers,” said Thabi Moyo, coordinator of the summer institute. “I believe that creating media pieces through their eyes can be extremely impactful and effective in reaching that target audience.”

The program falls under the MPB Youth Engagement Initiative, which collaborates with districts, schools and other community agencies in exploring ways to prevent students from dropping out of school by providing resources, opportunities and outreach services that will ultimately help students stay in school and earn a high school diploma, while equipping them for college and career readiness.

The two-week institute is working with 23 high school students from the Jackson area. Outside of the trip to the DMI, programming takes place in Jackson.

Learn more about the Delta Music Institute at Delta State at