Arkansas Sounds presents Dara Tucker tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

Image result for dara tuckerArkansas Sounds presents Dara Tucker at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater tonight at 8pm.

Nashville-based vocalist and composer Dara Tucker is establishing herself as one of the premier voices in jazz and beyond. From opening for Gregory Porter to appearing on the “Tavis Smiley Show” to winning the silver medal and the Ben Tucker Jazz Award in the prestigious American Traditions Competition in 2017, Tucker is making her mark with a unique blend of soul, Americana, gospel, and jazz. Her latest album, “Oklahoma Rain”, showcases her as a formidable songwriter, able to express love, loss, and healing.

Tickets are $10 for general admission seating. The doors open at 7:00 pm and the concert starts at 8:00 pm.

Sponsored by Friends of the Central Arkansas Library System (FOCAL), Acansa Arts Festival, FM 89.1 KUAR, Dr. Elizabeth Fletcher Dishongh Charitable Trust and David Austin at The Charlotte John Company.

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Tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater – Lyon College Jazz Band with special guests

Arkansas Sounds presents the Lyon College Jazz Band with special guests tonight (April 11) at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Join them for an evening of jazz with co-presenters the Lyon College Jazz Band and their special guests, the Maumelle High School Jazz Band, the Bryant High School Jazz Band and vocalist Leslie Oden.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 6:00pm with general admission seating on a first come, first served basis.

Presented by Arkansas Sounds and Lyon College Jazz Band.

Tonight at CALS Ron Robinson Theater – Arkansas Sounds presents Big Piph’s “The Glow”

big piphTonight at 8pm, Arkansas Sounds presents Big Piph’s “The Glow” at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater at 8pm.

Epiphany “Big Piph” Morrow is a Stanford-educated international emcee and community builder. This noted TEDx speaker is a solo artist and front man for the 7pc jazz and funk infused, hip-hop ensemble, “Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe”.

His music, talks, and workshops have taken him abroad to countries such as Morocco, The Gambia, Seychelles, Thailand, Myanmar, and more.

After a decade plus in the industry, his unique entertainment is relayed through the lenses of purpose, humor, creativity, race, and a global perspective. His latest project is a new age narrative, one-man show entitled, “The Glow”, with Corey Harris as music director.

Ticket prices are $15. Doors open at 7:00 pm with general admission seating

104 years ago today, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born. Celebrate her at special Arkansas Sounds screening

Image result for sister rosetta tharpeTonight (March 20) at 7pm at the Ron Robinson Theater. Celebrate the life, legacy and love of Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Learn about the woman who Cleveland County native Johnny Cash called his favorite singer.

Arkansas Sounds presents American Masters Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll”

The director’s cut of the American Masters documentary profiles the newly inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Sister Rosetta Tharpe, paying tribute to the Arkansas musical legend on what would be her 104th birthday. This longer version features more performance footage and a special introduction by filmmaker Mick Csaky.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00pm with general admission seating on a first come, first served basis.

Presented by Arkansas Sounds and AETN/PBS.

Sponsored by Friends of the Central Arkansas Library System (FOCAL), Acansa Arts Festival, FM 89.1 KUAR, Dr. Elizabeth Fletcher Dishongh Charitable Trust and David Austin at The Charlotte John Company.

The Legacy of legendary radio station KOKY explored tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

a license plate reading KOKY Little Rock

Arkansas Sounds tonight (February 22) honors the legacy of KOKY, Arkansas’ first radio station devoted to all-black programming aimed toward an African American audience, with photos, audio clips, and a panel discussion featuring KOKY on-air personalities such as Sonta Jean “The KOKY Queen,” Mark “Chillin’” Dylan, and Billy St. James, with moderator Broadway Joe Booker.

The program will start at 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater. There is no admission charge.

The original KOKY, at 1440 AM, was a longtime heritage urban station in Little Rock from its launch in 1956. In 1979, it changed its call letters to KITA and switched its format to gospel.  The current radio station with the KOKY call letters has cited the original station as its inspiration.

A Celebration of Art Porter Sr. tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater

Arthur Lee (Art) Porter Sr. was a pianist, composer, conductor, and music teacher. His musical interest spanned from jazz to classical and spirituals.

Tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theatre, Arkansas Sounds is hosting a special presentation of rare video and audio clips and photographs, as well as a panel discussion celebrating the continued legacy and eighty-fifth birthday of Arkansas pianist, composer, conductor, and music teacher Art Porter Sr. This event is co-sponsored by AETN.

Admission is free, but reservations are suggested. They can be made here.

Born on February 8, 1934 in Little Rock, he began his music education at home. He played in church at age eight; played his first recital at twelve; and, by fourteen, hosted a half-hour classical music radio program on KLRA-AM. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Arkansas AM&N College (now UAPB) in May 1954.

He began his teaching career at Mississippi Valley State University in 1954.  When he was drafted into the Army, his musical talents were responsible for him being assigned as a chaplain’s assistant in New York.  In the late 1950s he returned to Little Rock and taught at Horace Mann High School, Parkview High School and Philander Smith College.

He also started playing piano jazz in the evenings. This led to the creation of the Art Porter Trio, which became THE music group for events.  Many musicians who came to Arkansas to perform in Little Rock or Hot Springs would often stop by and join in with Porter as he played.  From 1971 to 1981 he hosted The Minor Key musical showcase on AETN.  His Porterhouse Cuts program was shown in 13 states.

Often encouraged to tour, he instead chose to stay based in Arkansas.  He did, from time time, perform at jazz or music festivals.   He also performed classical piano with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, founded the Art Porter Singers, and created a music group featuring his four oldest children.  Though Porter received many honors and awards, he found particular satisfaction in the “Art Porter Bill” enacted by the state legislature, which allowed minors to perform in clubs while under adult supervision. Porter’s children thus were able to perform with him throughout the state. Governor Bill Clinton, at the time a huge fan and friend of Porter, often joined Porter’s group on his saxophone.

In January 1993, Porter and his son Art Porter, Jr., performed at festivities in Washington DC for the Presidential Inauguration of his friend Bill Clinton.  In July 1993, he died of lung cancer.  Today his legacy lives on in the Art Porter Music Education Fund as well as in the lives of the many musicians and fans he touched.  He was posthumously inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1994.