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FW: [AlabamaFolklife] Alabama Blues Project update - March 2003

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  • A.J. Wright
    fyi..aj wright // ajwright@uab.edu ... From: alablues@aol.com [mailto:alablues@aol.com] Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 11:33 PM To: Alablues@aol.com Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 20, 2003
      fyi..aj wright // ajwright@...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: alablues@... [mailto:alablues@...]
      Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 11:33 PM
      To: Alablues@...
      Subject: [AlabamaFolklife] Alabama Blues Project update - March 2003

      For Immediate Release:

      Dear Blues Fans,

      Spring has certainly sprung down here in Alabama and it is time to bring you
      up-to-date with some of our latest news and activities.

      As you may know by now, in recognition of the blues’ ongoing impact on music
      and cultural history, both in America and around the world, on September 5,
      2002, the United States Congress proclaimed the year 2003 as the “Year of
      the Blues.” We hope this proclamation ends up being more than empty words
      and finds blues musicians and programs across the US benefiting from more
      support. So many blues musicians continue to be under-appreciated and
      compensated for their life's work, and blues is still so rarely integrated
      into the regular school curriculum, despite its crucial role as the roots of
      contemporary American music.

      We are proud to announce that Alabama Bluesman Willie King has been
      nominated for two W. C. Handy Awards for "Traditional Blues Album of the
      Year" and "Blues Song of the Year." Willie is most deserving of this long
      overdue recognition for his unique juke joint style struggling blues. In
      honor of The Year of the Blues, Living Blues Magazine hosted it's first
      annual Blues Today: A Living Blues Symposium at the University of
      Mississippi in Oxford which featured Willie King. Willie performed both
      evenings of the symposium, and was one of two panel members from Alabama,
      along with Tony Bolden from the University of Alabama English Department.
      The Alabama Blues Project has designed a web page for Willie King - please
      check it out at www.willie-king.com. You will find dates there for his
      upcoming performances, and information about his 6th annual Freedom Creek
      Festival to be held on June 14th near Aliceville, Alabama.

      The Alabama Blues Project after-school program continues to be a great
      success. Impacting forty students from housing projects, boys and girls
      club, the YMCA, and the wider community, this program is funded thanks to a
      major grant from the Children's Trust fund of Alabama. The Blues Camp Blues
      Band is presently doing community performances in Tuscaloosa. Last week the
      students performed for the Brewers Porch home for emotionally disturbed
      children. We are now beginning to fundraise so that we can keep these
      program alive through 2003-2004.

      Future performances open to all are:

      Tuesday, March 18, from 5-6pm, the band will be performing for the senior
      citizens who live in Robertson Towers Retirement Home

      Tuesday, March 25, from 4.30pm, the band will be performing an open house
      Blues Bash at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Hargrove Road, Tuscaloosa.
      Party food will be served free to friends, family, and the community, who
      are all invited.

      Saturday, May 3rd, the big news is that the blues camp kids will be
      performing at Tuscaloosa's City Fest 2003 on the Wiendorf Stage. The kids
      performance will be followed by Willie King and the ABP Blues Band. This
      performance is made possible by Mercedes Benz Corporation.

      The ABP has continued it's Rural School Tour made possible by the State
      Council on the Arts, and have presented our "Introduction to the blues"
      across the state, including South Macon School in Macon County featuring
      Little Lee, and Cedar Bluff School in Cherokee County featuring Willie King.
      This week we are heading to Winterboro High School, in Talladega County for
      a program also featuring Willie King. This very successful presentation
      brings innovative arts and education programs to poorly funded rural Alabama

      We are very happy to announce that we will be presenting three days of
      interactive blues workshops at Montgomery's Jubilee City Fest, May 22, 23,
      24. These programs are aimed at kids of all ages, and feature Debbie Bond
      working with Willie King, Little Lee, and the ABP Blues Band.

      ABP AT U OF A
      Alabama Blues Project Director Debbie Bond has been teaching a ten-session
      course at the University of Alabama American Studies Department, called "An
      Introduction to the Blues." This popular course traces the origins of the
      blues, beginning with the African Diaspora, following through slavery,
      emancipation, the birth of the 1920s race recording industry, all the way to
      modern-day contemporary blues. In one of the sessions blues legend Willie
      King plays and talks to the students about his life and music.


      If you want use any photos for publicity purposes, please contact us as we
      have a wide selection from our many activities.

      We hope you find our newsletters enjoyable and interesting. If you would
      rather not receive this newsletter, please reply to this email with the
      subject "REMOVE."

      With best wishes

      Debbie Bond

      Director, Alabama Blues Project
      (205) 554 1795

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