WXPN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF YEAR-LONG MISSISSIPPI BLUES PROJECT
LIVE MUSIC AND INTERACTIVE PROJECT WILL BRING SIGNIFICANT BLUES ARTISTS & MORE TO PHILADELPHIA AUDIENCES
PHILADELPHIA, PA (JULY 24, 2012): A year-long project spearheaded by WXPN that is devoted to bringing blues music to Philadelphia-area audiences was introduced to the more than 17,000 who attended the radio station’s XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru this past weekend (July 20-22) on the Camden, NJ waterfront.
WXPN members and festival goers learned about the upcoming Mississippi Blues Project, a concert series and online interactive initiative supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through The Philadelphia Music Project that will 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.
The Project, produced by WXPN Assistant General Manager Bruce Warren, will kick off with a live performance by Cedric Burnside Project and Big George Brock on Sunday, August 19 at the 51st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. The others are:
Terry “Harmonica” Bean / Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Fall 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’ll be shining a bright spotlight on Mississippi Blues and educating audiences about this foundational genre,” 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 will be created to archive artist interviews and performances, and offer enlightening and informative content. Meister said, “Capturing live performances will contribute to the long tradition of field recording – and limited studio recording – of Mississippi Blues.” 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.”
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About The Philadelphia Music Project
The Philadelphia Music Project is a program of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts. It was established in 1989 to foster artistic excellence and innovation in the region’s nonprofit music community. PMP achieves this goal by supporting projects that contribute to the advancement of participating organizations and the cultural enrichment of the community.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple-A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN producesWorld Cafe® public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.