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FW: [AlabamaFolklife] Alabama Blues Project Update - April 2004

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  • A.J. Wright
    fyi...ajwright@uab.edu ... From: alablues@aol.com [mailto:alablues@aol.com] Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 11:55 AM To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2004
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: alablues@... [mailto:alablues@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 11:55 AM
      To: Alablues@...
      Subject: [AlabamaFolklife] Alabama Blues Project Update - April 2004

      Dear ABP Friends and Supporters

      We hope you are all enjoying this beautiful spring. The ABP has had a very productive and exciting first quarter of the year -we have already presented our "Introduction to the Blues" program to literally thousands of students across the land! - and there's lots of good things to come . . . 

      Willie King to play in Tuscaloosa
      First we would like to encourage those in our area come to the upcoming, Willie King and The Liberators performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Sponsored by the South Eastern Conference on Linguistics, the Language and the South Symposium, and the Alabama Blues Project, the free show will be at 7pm on Thursday April 15th at the Jupiter Bar & Grill. Alabama bluesman Willie King will be honored and presented with awards by the Alabama Blues Project and the University of Alabama African American Studies Department. Willie King will also be presented with the keys to the city of Tuscaloosa and April 15 will be proclaimed Willie King Day in the City of Tuscaloosa! Come out and help celebrate and honor blues musician and community builder Willie King and get down to some great blues!

      Blues Camp Kids to play at Tuscaloosa CityFest
      Our blues camp students will begin performances at the end of May, starting with Tuscaloosa's City Fest. We are very proud to have been invited to perform again by our sponsors Mercedes Benz on the Mercedes Benz Stage on Saturday, May 1st, at 2pm. Come along for a wonderful show featuring:
      • new students band
      • our newly-independent advanced student band
      • star-turns from blues camp instructors - Debbie Bond, Gary Edmonds, and Caroline Shines
      • all this followed by the great Alabama bluesman Willie King

      Mississippi Valley Blues Society
      We so enjoyed our blues in the schools tour sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society in Iowa and Illinois this March. We were extremely impressed by the outstanding work of this blues society and thank them for all they do to educate the youth in their community about the importance of this great American art form. In one short week we performed with the great Willie King for over three thousand school kids in over ten different schools. The tour included a penitentiary, community college, radio station interviews and more (see below for complete list).

      Alabama Rural Tour
      Our tour of rural Alabama schools has also been a huge success. We are very thankful to the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts for making these much needed programs possible. See below for a list of some of the schools we visited this spring!  There are several more schools yet to come on this tour, and we will be heading south in April to present an after-school program to students at Dean Road Elementary. 
      Somerville Road Elementary residency
      Later this month we are heading back to North Alabama to continue our blues artist in residency program at Somerville Road Elementary. This program gives an opportunity for every class to have a session with Willie King, as well as a performance on April 16th to help celebrate the end of the SAT tests for this year! 
      After-school and summertime blues camp
      Meanwhile, we have started our Blues Camp after-school program here in Tuscaloosa, which meets once a week. Forty students meet from 4-6.30pm every Tuesday and are instructed by professional blues musicians on the instrument of their choice. The late, great Johnny Shines was incredible inspiration for starting these school programs, and we are very excited that his daughter, the fabulous gospel and blues singer Caroline Shines, is this year's vocal instructor!  We are thankful to the many sponsors who make this program possible, including the Children's Trust Fund of Alabama, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Bonnie RaittMercedes-Benz International, Alligator Records, Peavey, Zildjian, Kenny Neal. Hohner, Fender, and more!

      Willie King's Freedom Creek Festival
      Important upcoming events include Willie Kings Freedom Creek Blues Festival on Saturday June 5th. We promise more information as the line-up is confirmed, but meanwhile an exciting addition to the festival is food provided by the Southern Foodways Alliance, an outstanding group of gourmet chefs who will be providing food and refreshments for the event. All profits will go to assist Willie King's non-profit community organization, the Rural Members Association.

      Last, but by no means least, we are beginning our fund drive for our Summertime Blues Camp. Although we received generous grants from the Children's Trust Fund of Alabama and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, we are also required to fund our programs from other organizations and individuals. If the spirit moves you to support our blues education programs, please send your tax-deductible donation to:

      The Alabama Blues Project
      2620 2nd Street East
      Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
      Well, that's it for this newsletter! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments by email, phone at (205) 554 1795 or write to the above address.
      Thank you again for all your support, and wishing you a wonderful spring,

      Director, Alabama Blues Project
      (205) 554 1795

      List of ABP programs so far this year!
      Williams Intermediate, Davenport, IA
      East Moline Correctional Center, East Moline, IL
      Thomas Jefferson Elementary, Milan, IL
      Audubon School, Rock Island, IL
      Lincoln-Irving, Moline, IL
      Smart Intermediate, Davenport, IA
      Scott Community College, Bettendorf, IA
      Riverdale High School, Port Byron, IL
      Moline High School, Moline, IL
      Washington Elementary School, Davenport, IA
      Roosevelt Elementary, Moline, IL
      Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL

      South Macon School, Roba, AL
      John Essex High School, Demopolis, AL
      Saint Joseph's School, Tuskegee, AL
      Dallas County High School, Plantersville, AL

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