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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

IT WAS A BIG WEEKEND FOR THE SOULSVILLE FOUNDATION

Left to Right: Andria Lisle, Karla Redding-Andrews, Wayne Jackson, Ben Cauley.



This past weekend was filled with activity for the Soulsville Foundation, the nonprofit parent company that operates the Stax Museum, Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School.





Friday morning, as I posted earlier, we held a press conference with AT&T to unveil the new AT&T Real White Pages with the museum on the front cover. I can't wait to see what happens when the 580,000 of them printed are distributed in the coming weeks.





The following night, we had our Stax Music Academy SNAP! After School Spring Concert, which sold out the 900-plus seat Michael D. Rose Theater at the University of Memphis. Three of the academy's ensembles performed, as well as The Soulsville Charter School Soulsville Symphony Orchestra. Special featured guests were our academy's Artist in Residence, internationally acclaimed saxophonist and composer Kirk Whalum, along with Otis Redding's sons, Otis III and Dexter Redding, who finished the concert by performing "(Sitting On The) Dock of the Bay" with the students' Stax Music Academy Rhythm Section.





During the concert, 3 Stax Music Academy students - Ricardo Canaday, Ashton Riker, and Terrell Sharkey - were presented with scholarships to the Berklee College of Music in Boston for their upcoming five-week Summer Music Performance Program, and twelve academy students took the stage to announce that they will be traveling to Australia this summer during the Stax Music Academy Summer Soul Tour Presented by FedEx.





On Sunday, the museum hosted "Conversations with the Reddings," a panel discussion/Q&A moderated by music writer Andria Lisle. While Otis Redding's wife, Mrs. Zelma Redding, had to cancel because of personal issues and his sons Otis Redding III and Dexter Redding didn't participate in the actual panel, the family was represented well by Otis and Zelma's daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews, as well as stax legend Wayne Jackson of the Mar-Keys and Memphis Horns, and Bar-Kays trumpeter Ben Cauley, the only surviving member aboard the plane that crashed on December 10, 1967, killing Otis Redding and all of the other Bar-Kays except James Alexander, who had taken a commercial flight. The discussion was full of information, anecdotes, insight into what Redding was like as both an entertainer and family man, and there were some very emotional moments as Cauley described the crash and trying to save his drowning friends.





For an objective account of the evening, check out http://www.mymidtownmemphis.blogspot.com/.





Thanks to all of you who attended any or all of these events. A good time was had by all and we couldn't do this without the support of not only the Memphis public, but also the national and international community that has such great love for Stax!

2 comments:

Susan Green said...

This was great! What a wonderful weekend...

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