Three Little Rock arts organizations announced as NEA grant recipients

Three Little Rock organizations were announced today as recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  They are: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, and the Oxford American magazine.

Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the United States benefit from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2019, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc.
$10,000
Challenge America
To support concert performances and related outreach activities.

Chamber Music Society of Little Rock
$10,000
Challenge America
To support a series of chamber music performances and related educational programming.

Oxford American Literary Project
$20,000
Art Works — Literature
To support publication and promotion of the magazine.

Catherine Russell is next in OXFORD AMERICAN’s Archetypes & Troubadours series on South on Main stage

Catherine Russell [ARCHETYPES & TROUBADOURS SERIES]

The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Catherine Russell to the South on Main stage, tonight (December 5).

This is the second show of their Archetypes & Troubadours Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Chris & Jo Harkins and J. Mark & Christy Davis, as well as their season sponsor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Alone Together, vocalist Catherine Russell’s seventh studio album as a leader, is a search for truth. Drawing on composers and lyricists of The Great American Songbook—Irving Berlin, Eddie de Lange, and Jimmy Van Heusen—along with songwriters from the Swing and Rhythm & Blues eras—Nat Cole, Louis Jordan, and Al Dubin, and Harry Warren—Russell invigorates their creations. At the center is Russell’s voice, and while comparisons to Ella, Billie, Sarah, and Dinah abound—while flattering—she has a sound all her own. “Blues infused jazz tunes are the ones I gravitate towards, because they enable me to freely express myself in the moment,” says Russell.

Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist/composer/bandleader and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, Sy Oliver, and countless others.

Catherine Russell combines a pedigree, where classic jazz & rhythm and blues run through her veins, with the sensibility of a lifetime in popular music. On Alone Together, an intoxicating brew emerges. The connections are real and natural, never forced, and always true.

Additional season partners include Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Cypress Properties, Inc., UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Margaret Ferguson Pope—Thank You Aunt Margaret!, EVO Business Environments, Jay Barth & Chuck Cliett, Stacy Hamilton of Desselle Real Estate, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery Little Rock.

Authors of TWO DEAD – Van Jensen and Nate Powell – headline next OA South Words program

Image result for two dead book"The Oxford American is excited to continue its 2019-2020 South Words readers series with Van Jensen and Nate Powell, author and illustrator of Two Dead. Moderating the discussion is OA senior editor and author of Carry the Rock, Jay Jennings.

The program takes place at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.  Doors open at 6:00 PM, and there will be a book signing after the reading. Books will be for sale onsite.

Two Dead, a stunning crime noir graphic novel by Nate Powell and Van Jensen, explores intertwining threads of crime, conspiracy, racism, and insanity in the post-World War II Deep South.  Powell is the acclaimed DC Comics writer and the artist of the #1 New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning illustrated trilogy March. Jensen, a former crime reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a graphic novel writer who has written for the Pinocchio and Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and DC Comics.

This special event is free to attend. Please reserve your RSVP tickets on this page.

Our Presenting Sponsor for South Words is the UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, and the reading series is presented in partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System’s Six Bridges Book Festival. Additional season partners include the Clinton School of Public Service, Arkansas Arts Council, Division of Arkansas Heritage, and Villa Vue at SoMa.

Van Jensen, a former crime reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a graphic novel writer who has written for the Pinocchio and Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and DC Comics. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nate Powell is an illustrator who worked on the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel trilogy March, for which he became the first cartoonist ever to win the National Book Award. His work also includes You Don’t SayAny EmpireSwallow Me WholeThe Silence of Our FriendsThe Year of the Beasts, and Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero and he has received a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, three Eisner Awards, two Ignatz Awards, two Harvey Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, a Coretta Scott King Author Award, four YALSA Great Graphic Novels For Teens selections, and the Walter Dean Myers Award. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Jay Jennings is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalLowbrow ReaderGarden & GunTravel & Leisure, and Oxford American, where he is a senior editor. He is the author of Carry the Rock: Race, Football and the Soul of an American City and the editor of Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany.

Tonight at South on Main – the Oxford American presents the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet

Image result for jason marsalis vibes quartet"

The Oxford American magazine welcomes the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet to the South on Main stage! This is the second show of their Jazz Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsor UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, as well as their season sponsor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Additional season partners include Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Cypress Properties, Inc., J. Mark & Christy Davis, Chris & Jo Harkins, Margaret Ferguson Pope—Thank You Aunt Margaret!, EVO Business Environments, Jay Barth & Chuck Cliett, Stacy Hamilton of Desselle Real Estate, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery Little Rock.

Single tickets are $30 (General Admission), $40 (Reserved), and $42 (Premium Reserved).

In 2008, Jason Marsalis was asked to perform with the Lionel Hampton Big Band in New Orleans. Shortly after the performance, Marsalis was officially selected by the Hampton estate to be the band’s official vibraphonist. It was around that time that Marsalis was studying the music of the Benny Goodman Quartet and decided to form a group with the same instrumentation. While the first shows were dedicated to songs the Benny Goodman Quartet recorded, the music has evolved to include songs that were written from the 1940’s through 2000, shortly after the Goodman Quartet’s initial records.

Because of the change in repertoire, the group’s name is “The 21st Century Trad Band: BGQ Exploration.” Members include Marsalis on vibraphone, Joe Goldberg on clarinet, Kris Tokarski on piano, and Gerald T. Watkins, Jr. on drums. The band will be recording their first album in December of 2019, and it will be released in 2020.

Chatham County Line presented by the Oxford American at South on Main tonight!

Chatham County Line [AMERICANA SERIES]The Oxford American magazine welcomes Chatham County Line to the South on Main stage tonight, October 17.

This is the second show of their Americana Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsor Stella Boyle Smith Trust, as well as their season sponsor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Additional season partners include Chris & Jo Harkins, J. Mark & Christy Davis, Cypress Properties, Inc., UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Margaret Ferguson Pope—Thank You Aunt Margaret!, EVO Business Environments, Jay Barth & Chuck Cliett, Stacy Hamilton of Desselle Real Estate, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery Little Rock.

 

Chatham County Line has never been shy about crossing borders. The North Carolina-based quartet initially referred to its sound as new traditional. “We were in love with bluegrass, so we wanted to play bluegrass without really being trained in it,” Chatham County Line’s vocalist/guitarist Dave Wilson says. The group used the term “guerrilla bluegrass” to describe themselves in those early years, mainly because they had such a mobile form of playing.

The band’s name comes from one of their very first practices when the group—John Teer (mandolin/fiddle), Chandler Holt (banjo), and Greg Readling (bass, pedal steel, piano)—was trying to find Holt’s place in Chapel Hill and got lost. “We crossed the Chatham County line, and we never looked back,” Wilson says. “Just saw the sign, and said that’d be a good idea for a name, and the next thing you know….”

Their latest release comprises thirteen covers, songs they’ve played on tours, but never recorded for an album. Sharing The Covers is as much a nod to the artists and genres it draws from—Del Reeves, Carter Stanley, Tom Petty, and many others—as it is to the fans who asked how to access those covers other than YouTube. “We hope people enjoy it,” Wilson says. “ We don’t make a lot of money putting out other people’s songs, but we kinda just want it for sharing the snapshots.”

Oxford American’s Archetypes and Troubadours kicks off with Rev. Sekou on South on Main stage

Rev. Sekou [ARCHETYPES & TROUBADOURS SERIES]Tonight (9/26) at 8:00 PM – The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Rev. Sekou to the South on Main stage! This is the first show of their Archetypes & Troubadours Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Chris & Jo Harkins and J. Mark & Christy Davis, as well as their season sponsor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Single tickets are $28 (General Admission), $34 (Reserved), and $36 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart).

Noted activist, theologian, author, documentary filmmaker, and musician, Reverend Osagyefo Sekou was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in the rural Arkansas Delta. His music is a unique combination of North Mississippi Hill Country music, Arkansas Delta blues, Memphis boul, and Pentecostal steel guitar. In May 2017, he released In Times Like These, produced by the six-time GRAMMY nominated North Mississippi Allstars. AFROPUNK heralded the ”deep bone-marrow-level conviction” of his first album, The Revolution Has Come. The single, “We Comin,’” was named the new anthem for the modern Civil Rights movement by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Paste Studio celebrated this consummate entertainer’s barn-burning performance saying, “Rev. Sekou delivers the spiritual performance we need now.”

A leading public intellectual, Rev. Sekou has signed a five-book deal with Chalice Press—a publisher of progressive religious thought. The Press has republished Rev. Sekou’s Urbansouls: Meditations on Youth, Hip Hop, and Religion and Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy. His forthcoming work focuses on the contemporary civil rights movement, particularly Ferguson and Black Lives Matter.