GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi presents “Sidemen: Long Road to Glory”

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GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi presents a screening of “Sidemen: Long Road to Glory,” a film directed by Scott Rosenbaum and narrated by Marc Maron, that provides an intimate look into the lives of three of the last Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen — piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin.

The screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 in the Sanders Soundstage at the museum. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www.grammymuseumms.org/events/detail/sidemen.

Immediately following the screening, there will be a conversation with special guests Rosenbaum, film producer Tony Grazia and Andrew Sullivan. Also known as “Six String Andrew,” Sullivan was the youngest child to ever attend the Pinetop Perkins Masterclass Workshop at just eight years old.

These legendary bluesmen, who performed and recorded into their 80s and 90s, played a significant role in shaping modern popular music. The film features some of the last interviews conducted with all three men, as well as their final live performance together.

“It was truly an honor to get to know these legendary musicians,” said Grazia. “It is amazing how many artists and music genres they influenced. It is time everyone knows who they are and learns of their incredible talent. Their story needs to be shared with the world and I’m honored to have played a part in doing that.”

“Sidemen” takes viewers on the road with Pinetop, Willie and Hubert, three of the last direct links to the origins of the blues, as they share the incredible stories about each of their personal histories.

“I couldn’t be any more thrilled to have the honor of showing this film at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi,” said Rosenbaum. “The story of Pinetop and Willie’s historic 2011 GRAMMY® win — which made Pinetop the oldest ever recipient — is such an integral part of the narrative for ‘Sidemen: Long Road To Glory.’ I’m certain they will be smiling down on us.”

Screening the film in the Mississippi Delta holds special significance. Two of the legendary bluesmen featured were born in the Delta: Perkins of Belzoni, Mississippi and Sumlin of Greenville, Mississippi. Smith was born just across the Mississippi River in nearby Helena, Arkansas. Additionally, the Pinetop Perkins Masterclass Workshop is held in Clarksdale, Mississippi every year.

Learn more about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi at www.grammymuseumms.org.

Social work conference slated for Oct. 5-6

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The 46th annual Alabama-Mississippi Social Work Education Conference will take place at Delta State University on Oct. 5-6.

The opening ceremony for the event kicks off at 8 a.m. on Oct. 5 in the Jacob Conference Center in Ewing Hall.

Attendees are asked to register in advance at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/46th-annual-alabama-mississippi-social-work-education-conference-registration-32440965802. Anyone wanting to enhance their knowledge of social work is invited to register.

Keynoting the affair is Dr. William Bell, president and CEO of Casey Family Programs and a Delta State alumnus.

This year’s theme is “Social Work Marching Together: Yes We Can … No We Won’t.”

“We invite you to come and share in this educational experience with social work educators, students and professionals from both Alabama and Mississippi,” said Cora Jackson, interim chair of the Department of Social Work at Delta State. “This is the first time in 10 years that Delta State has hosted the event, and we hope participants will enjoy our beautiful campus and enjoy the culture of the Delta as they enhance their knowledge and skills.”

Jackson said the conference will provide faculty with the opportunity to obtain up to 26 continuing education units.

“It will also allow us to develop and strengthen collaborations with other undergraduate social work programs throughout the region as we share our unique perspectives on social work and social work education,” she said.

The conference will also feature a red carpet event open to all attendees at GRAMMY Museum ® Mississippi on Oct. 5. The event encourages camaraderie among colleagues as well as the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the museum. The event is free, and refreshments will be provided. The attire for the evening is semi-formal or Sunday’s best.

From 1969-1971, social work faculty from Southern states met four times a year as part of a faculty development project of the Southern Regional Education Board. When the project ended, faculty from Alabama and Mississippi schools decided to form a conference so they could further the bonds they had developed. The conference has continued ever since.

Objectives of the conference are: to promote transfer of information among schools providing social welfare education courses in the states of Alabama and Mississippi; to provide a forum for issues and problems of regional importance for the two states; and to enable individual schools and faculty members to be sensitive and responsive to the changing demands of social work education.

The first three conferences were hosted by the University of Alabama, and starting in 1975 the conference was rotated among social work programs in the two states.

Today, representatives from all 27-CSWE accredited social work programs in Alabama and Mississippi, as well as programs from surrounding states, participate in the annual conference. Many of these programs bring their students who participate in programming and seek out employment and further educational opportunities.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/almssocialworkedconference.

Fourth blues conference to feature Aaron Neville

By | Community, Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, International Delta Blues Project, President, Students | No Comments

The fourth annual International Conference on the Blues at Delta State University is shaping up to be the best yet. This year’s lineup features GRAMMY winner Aaron Neville and has a two-part theme: Mississippi Delta native John Lee Hooker’s centennial birthday celebration in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and an exploration of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s collection of Mississippi Delta blues and gospel recordings.

The conference is scheduled for Oct. 1-3.

The unique symposium brings together blues scholars, historians and fans from all over the United States in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a place known as the epicenter of blues music and history.

To register for the conference, visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ee79rfch3347d1e5&oseq=&c=&ch=. CEU credit is available for educators.

Among the highlights for this year’s schedule are:

  • an opening reception and tour of the John Lee Hooker exhibit at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
  • a keynote breakfast featuring Alan Lomax scholar, Dr. John Szwed of Columbia University, New York City
  • a free, open-to-the-public John Lee Hooker tribute concert at Bolivar County Courthouse in downtown Cleveland featuring a trio of the next generation of great bluesmen, Jontavious Willis, Marquise Knox and Kingfish Ingram
  • an open mic “Blues in the Round” event at Mississippi Grounds coffee shop in downtown Cleveland
  • a lunch conversation with Aaron Neville
  • a blues-related film festival in the Sanders Theater at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
  • a presentation by renowned blues photographer Dick Waterman
  • free admission to GRAMMY Museum Mississippi with paid conference registration
  • a closing concert performance by Aaron Neville at Delta State’s Bologna Performing Arts Center with tickets ranging from $25-$50 and a special 10 percent discount for conference registrants

“As the academic center of the Delta blues, Delta State is proud to host and sponsor this year’s blockbuster blues conference,” said Delta State President William N. LaForge. “With all the superb programming that is scheduled, this conference will not disappoint and is one not to be missed.”

In addition, the conference will announce a project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts that will bring Alan Lomax’s collection of Mississippi recordings back home to the region in partnership with the Association for Cultural Equity at Hunter College.

As part of celebrating this exciting new partnership, the conference will feature keynote speaker Dr. John Szwed. Szwed won the 2006 GRAMMY Award for Best Album Notes for “Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings,” a box set based on Lomax’s interviews with jazz great Jelly Roll Morton. Szwed is considered a leading authority on Lomax’s life and work. He is the John M. Musser Professor Emeritus of anthropology, African American studies and film studies at Yale University and an adjunct senior research scholar in the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, where he previously served as the center’s director and professor of music and jazz studies.

“We are honored to have Dr. Szwed and representatives from the Association for Culture Equity join us this year to announce our Lomax Mississippi Collection partnership,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center. “We look forward to making early recordings of Delta-based blues and gospel singers available to their families and the communities that they called home.”

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will be the site for much of the conference, including a specially curated exhibit on John Lee Hooker.

“When the initial conversation began for our museum to be the site of this year’s conference we were thrilled,” said Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. “Our goal has always been to help give a better understanding of Mississippi’s role in music, and it makes complete sense for us to work with this conference to expand that mission.”

The conference is part of the International Delta Blues Project, which is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and is based at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State. The conference is being managed by a team of campus and community collaborators including The Delta Center; the Delta Music Institute; the Department of Music; the Division of Languages & Literature; the Office of Institutional Grants; Cleveland Tourism; Visit Mississippi; the City of Cleveland; and Bolivar County.

Over 30 papers will be presented during conference sessions.

“I always marvel at the variety of scholars that our conference attracts,” said Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor in the Department of Music and conference co-chair. “With the conference focusing on both John Lee Hooker and Alan Lomax, we’re thrilled to have received a record number of paper submissions this year.”

Numerous opportunities to enjoy live music will also be available at this year’s conference. Monday night will feature a free concert in downtown Cleveland by Jontavious Willis, Marquise Knox and Kingfish Ingram. On Tuesday, Aaron Neville will be interviewed during a lunch conversation, and later that evening, he will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Conference registrants are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on ticket prices for this special closing concert.

“Jontavious Willis, Marquise Knox and Kingfish Ingram playing John Lee Hooker songs and their solo and original sides is such a great tribute to both the past and future of the blues,” said Don Allan Mitchell, conference co-chair. “Their average age is 23, and their superb advocacy for blues, as especially relevant to modern African American culture, will especially resonate with our diverse audiences. And Aaron Neville — the man is a music legend and his experience, knowledge and talent will be such a great addition. With a record number of paper and presentation submissions for this year’s conference, and a first-rate lineup of both artists and scholars, there is nowhere to go but up.”

Follow all conference updates at http://www.internationaldeltabluesproject.com/conference.

School-Time Matinee Series tickets on sale

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Tickets for the 2017-18 School-Time Matinee Series at the Bologna Performing Arts Center are now on sale for schools throughout the Delta. This year’s performance slate includes offerings for every grade level, from pre-kindergarten to high school audiences, as well as educational partnerships with the Delta Arts Alliance and Delta State University.

Students at public schools in 12 Delta and northwest Mississippi counties are eligible for $1 scholarship tickets provided by Double Quick, Inc. and the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.

2017 shows include:

  • “Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey on Wednesday,” is set for Sep. 27 (kindergarten-fourth grade).
  • In October, the BPAC will partner with the Delta Arts Alliance for an Arts Beyond the Stage workshop in conjunction with the production of Dallas Children’s Theatre’s “How I Became a Pirate” on Oct. 16 (pre-kindergarten through fifth grade). Call the BPAC at 662-846-4844 to register your class for the workshop.
  • Modern dance “Ailey II” on Nov. 2 (upper elementary, middle and high school) is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission. All tickets for this special education initiative are only $1 each.
  • Audiences will greet the holiday season with everyone’s favorite lasagna-loving feline as GARFIELD© presents “A Garfield Christmas” (pre-kindergarten through fourth grade) on Dec. 6.

2018 shows include:

  • “Go, Dog. Go!” is set for Jan. 19 (pre-kindergarten through second grade).
  • Arguably Shakespeare’s most celebrated play “Hamlet” comes to the BPAC stage with a performance by Aquilla Theatre on Feb. 7 (middle and high school).
  • Based on Prokofiev’s famed symphony for children, “Petra and the Wolf” takes place Feb. 20 (first-eighth grade).
  • The season concluded April 5 with Enchantment Theatre’s production of “My Father’s Dragon” (pre-kindergarten through fifth grade).

For more information about tickets, pricing, study guides, and scholarship tickets, contact the Arts Education office at 662-846-4844 or email cholder@deltastate.edu.

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi presents special Michael Jackson display

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GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi presents a Michael Jackson display celebrating the 35th anniversary of Thriller. Located in the “Current Winners” case in the Museum, for a short period beginning on Aug. 29, exclusive Jackson artifacts will be displayed in honor of the “King of Pop” and 13-time GRAMMYÒ winner and his album Thriller that won the GRAMMY® Award for Album of the Year in 1984.

This display will open on Jackson’s birthday, Aug. 29. It will be open for a short time this fall to celebrate the anniversary of the release of Thriller, which was released 35 years ago on Nov. 30. Thriller is the best-selling album of all time with 42.4 million copies sold. Thriller won Jackson eight GRAMMY Awards at the 1984 ceremony, including Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year for “Beat It.”

The display will feature two of Jackson’s jackets: one that he wore while performing “Billie Jean” and one from “Beat it” that he signed.

The Museum also has programs planned around this exhibit including a boogie-themed family day with discounted admission for families, live music by Jake and the Pearl Street Jumpers, art activities, a drumming workshop, and food vendors to encourage the public to visit this exhibit and celebrate Jackson’s legacy. Other special events will include an education workshop with Benjamin Wright, a composer from Greenville, who conducted hits for many artists including Jackson, and a screening of Thriller.

To find out more information about this exhibit and the upcoming events and to plan your visit to the Museum, visit www.grammymuseumms.org.

ABOUT GRAMMY MUSEUM MISSISSIPPI

Built and operated by the Cleveland Music Foundation — a non-profit organization developed in 2011 — the 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is housed near the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies program, which features the most unique audio recording facilities in the South. Similar to its sister Museum — the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE — GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum features a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations, and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric area that introduces visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape.  For more information about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, visit www.grammymuseumms.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @GRAMMYMuseumMS on Twitter and Instagram, and like “GRAMMY Museum Mississippi” on Facebook.  For behind-the-scenes access, add us on Snapchat at GRAMMYMuseumMS.