Stax Music Academy Summer Music Experience a 40th Anniversary Salute to Wattstax
June 30, 2012
Throughout the month of June 2012, the hallways and rehearsals suites of the Stax Music Academy
have been humming with the sounds of a very famous and important concert that Stax Records hosted 40 years ago this year in L...
os Angeles, California to a crowd of more than 110,000 fans. Wattstax, a seven-hour concert that became a cultural phenomena known as “The Black Woodstock,” featured Stax Records’ entire roster of artists at the time, was an event of soul music and soul solidarity – a peaceful, astounding, and vivid celebration of self-expression and self-respect, with a positive and empowering message for a community trying to rebuild itself after an era of rebellion and violence.
In honor of Wattstax’s 40th anniversary, this year’s Stax Music Academy Summer Music Experience (SME) is a special salute to the event. Students have been studying Wattstax through a curriculum that includes workshops, classes, special speakers who performed at Wattstax, and, of course, musical training. In addition to the focus on Wattstax, the core of the SMA this year has been music business, with a special faculty of instructors teaching the 80 middle and high school students daily classes in music history, business, marketing and public relations, songwriting, production, and more.
On Saturday, June 30th, the program will conclude with the Summer Grand Finale Concert, “WATTSTAX: 40 Years in the Making.” It will be a reenactment of sorts, featuring the music of Wattstax including Isaac Hayes, the Bar-Kays, the Staple Singers, Rance Allen Group, Rufus & Carla Thomas, and almost all of the other artists who performed at the original concert. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Levitt Shell in Overton Park and is the finale of the shell’s Spring Concert Series. Admission is free.
Then, on July 16th, a group of approximately 15 SME students will embark on the annual Stax Music Academy Summer Soul Tour, taking their Wattstax tribute for live performances at the Berklee College of Music in Boston on July 17th, the Levitt Shell Pavilion in Westport, Connecticut on July 19th. Details are still being finalized for a performance in New York City during the trip. Memphis is one of Berklee College of Music’s City Music Program partners and the Stax Music Academy teaches its PULSE curriculum.
The Stax Music Academy is a unique learning center that inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance, and leadership skills by utilizing music with a strong focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records. Founded in 2000 with 125 young people, it has helped changed the lives of thousands of children since. Former Summer Soul Tour performances have included Lincoln Center in New York City, Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C, and tours of Italy and Australia.
For more information please contact Tim Sampson 901-485-8735 or email@example.com.
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