September 4 – October 12
Willie King Partners with the Alabama Blues Project,
Bringing the Blues to Aliceville Middle School
The Alabama Blues Project (ABP) is partnering with internationally renowned bluesman Willie King to present a six-week long "Blues in the Schools" Artist Residency at Aliceville Middle School in Pickens County, Alabama. Pickens County native Willie King has twice won the Living Blues Magazine “Blues Artist of the Year” award and is the recipient of an Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) Fellowship award. The unique residency is made possible by the Black Belt Arts Initiative, a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts that targets underserved schools in the Black Belt Region of the state. Aliceville Middle School, like so many of the Black Belt schools, currently has no art or music instruction as part of its regular curriculum. The residency will end with a final performance at the school at 8 am, on Friday October 12. This performance is open to the public and will feature Willie King, Caroline Shines, Debbie Bond and the students of Aliceville Middle School.
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Blues Singer Martha Redbone performs at the Moundville Native American Festival, in Moundville, Alabama
The Moundville Native American Festival takes place at The University of Alabama's Moundville Archaeological Park and celebrates the heritage and culture of Southeastern Indians. For the returning Native Americans whose ancestors were forcibly removed from their region to Oklahoma in the 1800s, the festival, with over 20 ancient earthen mounds serving as a backdrop, is a true homecoming in both a physical and spiritual sense. Take for example, award-winning blues artist Martha Redbone. From her mother's side, Martha received her Choctaw/Shawnee/Cherokee heritage. Her father is an African American with Native ancestry and her grandfather actually once lived in the town of Moundville. And yet, through all her travels, she has never "returned home" to Moundville or seen the mounds, a legacy left by her ancestors.
Martha Redbone, who has played with such greats as Bonnie Raitt, George Clinton and Floyd Westerman, is performing on the festival's Native American Stage on Saturday, October 6, prior to the homecoming football game at UA that same day. Billboard magazine says she's "Stunning - the kind of artist who sets trends." Her debut album, Home of the Brave, won "Best Debut" at the prestigious Native American Music Awards. Martha is committed to bridging cultural and ethnic gaps. You can hear it in her music. She even took her name from her heritage.
"Redbone is a southern term for being black and Indian", Martha explains. "I grew up being teased about it." Now she tours the country blending the sounds from her background into a musical fusion. Her latest album, Skintalk, has been described by Performing Songwriter magazine as, "part Neville Brothers, part Aretha Franklin, part tribal powwow." For more information, call (205) 371-8732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.