Friday, March 28, 2008


As Memphis honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and commemorates the 40th anniversary of his tragic death here on April 4, 1968, we hope you will visit the National Civil Rights Museum, as well as the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where the Civil Rights movement is also highlighted because of the integral role Stax Records played in the Movement.

Year round, the Stax Museum and National Civil Rights Museum offer a special MUSIC & THE MOVEMENT ticket package, with admission to both museums for the discounted price of $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and students with proper ID, and $14 for children age 4- 17.
Tickets may be purchased at both museums.

For more information about the National Civil Rights Museum and the many special events it is hosting, please visit

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


WKNO, Memphis’ television station for public programming, was recently honored with two 2008 National Telly Awards for two locally produced documentaries highlighting the Mid-South community. One of those was our own Stax Music Academy: From Soulsville to Italy.

Stax Music Academy, produced by Pierre Kimsey, follows fourteen of our young students from the Academy on tour in Italy in 2006 as they follow in the footsteps of legendary Stax musicians. This was our first ever Summer Soul Tour Presented by FedEx and it was the first time any of the students had traveled abroad and was a life-changing experience for them all. The documentary - which follows the students through Rome, Verona, Peisa, Venice, and Porretta Terme, where they opened the festivitites for the prestigious Porretta Soul Festiva - premiered on Channel 10 in August, 2007 and has aired on many public television stations across the country. WKNO and the Soulsville Foundation also hosted a private screening at the Stax Museum for the students and their families before the documentary aired.

The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions. Since 1978, their mission has been to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity. The 29th Annual Telly Awards received over 14,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Fewer than 10% of those entries received honors.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


SoulSchool Spring Break Concert!

Wednesday, March 19th - 7 p.m.

Buckman Performing Arts Center

Featuring Stax Music Academy Students joined by Internationally Renowned Kirk Whalum & Music Directors/Performers from Berklee College of Music

Admission: $5

The Soulsville Foundation is happy to announce that its Stax Music Academy’s SoulSchool Spring Break Concert will be held Wednesday, March 19th, at Buckman Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. and will feature Stax Music Academy students joined by visiting Music Directors from Berklee College of Music and Internationally Renowned Kirk Whalum.

About SoulSchool Spring Break:

When the Stax Music Academy began programming at Stafford Elementary School in the summer of 2000, before there was a Stax Music Academy building or the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the people behind the Soulsville project knew they were onto something. Some 225 children spent six weeks at Stafford in the Stax Music Academy SNAP! Summer Music Camp and had their first Grand Finale concert at the University of Memphis on July 14, 2000.

Since that time, of course, the Stax Music Academy and Stax Museum of American Soul Music, along with The Soulsville Charter School – all under the umbrella of the Soulsville Foundation – have opened and have reached thousands of lives of the community’s primarily at-risk young people.

So popular has the academy been among its students, that in 2006, the school had to create a program for them during what was their spring break from their regular schools. When most students were thrilled to have a week out of the classroom, the Stax Music Academy students wanted to do something special during that week instead.

That year, the academy created a program named SoulSchool Spring Break, and opened it up to students from throughout Memphis and Shelby County with a paid tuition fee, but still offered scholarships to those in financial need. The academy conducted an intense three-day workshop for a group of students, and brought in music producer, writer, and performer Philippe Saisse, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, who had worked with everyone from Tina Turner to Billy Joel, Luther Vandross, Rod Stewart and dozens of other music icons. The students learned all original music in the three-day workshop and performed a concert with Saisse at the Buckman Performing Arts Center. They has Saisse back year for a repeat performance, this time with then-new Stax Artist in Residence Kirk Whalum, the internationally known saxophone player, composer, and performer who is also a one of Memphis’ favorite hometown sons.
Now, in its third year, next week’s Stax Music Academy SoulSchool Spring Break will bring more Berklee alums, as part of a new and active partnership the Stax Music Academy has forged with the prestigious music school in Massachusetts, where, by the way, two Stax Music Academy alums began attending last fall.

Two of the Berklee Music Directors who will conduct the workshop are Nichelle Mungo and Winston Maccow. Mungo is a voice instructor who has worked with Natalie Cole, Andrae Crouch, Patti LaBelle, and host of other famous singers. She is a three time winner of Showtime at the Apollo and is an accomplished singer, choral director, performer, and certified music instructor. Maccow is an assistant ensemble professor who has appeared with Nancy Wilson, Urban Renewal, Flying Elephants, and many others, and is s guest speaker and clinician at two conservatories in Denmark.

As part of the Stax Music Academy’s mission of mentoring students through music education and unique performance opportunities, both Mungo and Maccow will teach the students about more than just music.

According to Maccow, “What I try to get out my class is leaders. Everyone’s supposed to lead,
Everyone. I put people on the spot just to see how they’re paying attention to things. I’ll say, 'Okay, next week, I want you to lead.' Or I don’t even say that. I just say, 'You’re going to lead today.' In my class, you’re always on your toes. It’s the only way to develop leadership. You’ve got to be on yourtoes in the real world.”

For more information, please visit or call 901-946-2535.