First Featured Performers: Cedric Burnside Project & Big George BrockPHILADELPHIA, PA - A year-long project spearheaded by WXPN that is devoted to bringing blues music to Philadelphia-area audiences will kick off with a live performance by Cedric Burnside Project and Big George Brock this Sunday, August 19 at 2 pm on the Lobby Stage of the 51st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, in Schwenksville, PA.
The Mississippi Blues Project is a concert series and online interactive initiative has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. created to showcase the Mississippi blues as a vibrant folk art form.
Through a series of four concert performances between August 2012 and May 2013, the Mississippi Blues Project will bring live music to audiences in the Greater Philadelphia area, and be available virtually to listeners around the nation. Produced by WXPN Assistant General Manager Bruce Warren, the Project will also feature these additional performances:
Terry "Harmonica" Bean / Jimmy "Duck" Holmes – October 22, 2012 World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Anthony "Big A" Sherrod / Robert Belfour – February 15, 2013 XPN Free at Noon, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Homemade Jamz Blues Band / Super Chikan – May 16, 2013 NonCOMMvention, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
As a leading non-commercial, public radio station, WXPN stewards many genres of American roots music, including blues. For more than 30 years, the station has broadcast The Blues Show with Jonny Meister, a recipient of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award.
According to Meister, the performance series artists have been selected for their unique style, personal history, stature among their fellow artists, and their role in the continuing evolution of the Mississippi Blues. "We're offering an uncommon opportunity to see these definitive Mississippi blues artists performing their musical magic here in Pennsylvania," said Meister.
WXPN will utilize its many on-air, live and online platforms to help introduce a wide audience to these outstanding blues artists and their music, and is partnering with related organizations to produce engaging public programs. Additional initiatives include a screening of the documentary film We Juke Up In Here at Philadelphia's African-American Museum and an educational program for inner-city youth through Live Connections, among others.
A companion website has been created to archive artist interviews and performances, and offer enlightening and informative content. Meister said, "Recording live performances and conversations will provide diverse audiences here with both the music, and some of the stories behind it, from the Mississippi artists' own lives." WXPN expects to release a digital sampler of performance highlights from the series, to be distributed through program and promotional partners.
"Thanks to the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, WXPN will be able to bring this important, heritage American art form to new and wider audiences in an engaging, multi-platform, year-long series," said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay. "WXPN is committed to being a resource for significant music in diverse genres and the Mississippi Blues Project is a terrific opportunity to present and illuminate these artists."