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

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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.

Points South, new podcast series from Oxford American, is launched

The Oxford American has announced the premiere of Points South, a new magazine-style podcast.

The first episode, now available across platforms, features Ken Burns and Rhiannon Giddens on African and African-American contributions to country music—from the Carter Family to Lil Nas X—and how those influences have been erased in American cultural memory. Filmmakers Julie Dunfey and Ken Burns discuss the soundscape of their PBS documentary Country Music. Plus: Dom Flemons performs from Black Cowboys live from the Oxford American stage.

The premiere season, which will air through the end of the year, will feature longform storytelling, live music performances, and conversations with Southern artists and writers. Upcoming episodes include John Paul White, Mary Miller, Los Texmaniacs, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and many more. The season will also include “The Prologue,” a series of feature-length segments that examine underreported stories in Southern history and their reverberations in the present.

Points South’s music is arranged by Trey Pollard (S-Town), co-owner of Spacebomb Group, the podcast’s post-production team, which includes a house band that performs the Points South theme music and score. Spacebomb will also co-produce adaptations of stories from the OA. In addition to live music recorded from the Oxford American stage, Points South will feature performances and conversations captured by Fayetteville Roots Festival.

This podcast is made possible by support from Arkansas Humanities Council, UAMS, and Andy and Somers Collins.

For more information, visit oxfordamerican.org/pointssouth. Points South is available across podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Overcast, and Simplecast.

Parker Millsap returns to South on Main stage tonight

“Witnessing Parker Millsap sing for the first time is a jarring experience, because the sights and sounds just don’t seem to match up: the slightly built [Oklahoman] has a bluesy, powerful rasp of a howl that sounds equally suited for juke joints or church tents.” —Rolling Stone

Parker MillsapTonight (September 18) at 7:30 PM the Oxford American welcomes Parker Millsap back to the South on Main stage!

Doors open at 5:30 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. This show is a special addition to their 2019-2020 Concert Series and is made possible in part by Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

Tickets are $25 (General Admission), $30 (Reserved), and $32 (Premium Reserved)—available via Metrotix.com or (800) 293-5949.

At 26 years of age, Oklahoma native Parker Millsap is quickly making a name for himself with his captivating live performances, soulful sound, and character-driven narratives. He’s had a string of highlights in recent years including his network television debut on CONAN, a performance with Elton John at the Apple Music Festival in London, an Austin City Limits taping and an Americana Music Association nomination for Album of the Year. He has also received praise from The New York TimesThe Boston GlobeLA TimesAustin Chronicle, and Rolling Stone to name a few.

He first picked up an acoustic guitar at nine, then plugged in and went electric after getting into Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, eventually starting a cover band with classmate, Michael Rose who still plays bass with him today. Over the years he recruited musicians Daniel Foulks (fiddle) and Andrew Bones (Drums) to join his band.

Parker’s first three full-length releases—2012’s Palisade, 2014’s self-titled LP, and 2016’s The Very Last Day—showcased a primal mastery of acoustic folk rock, with their flourish for revelation and fiery dynamics, all recorded with extreme precision, purpose and efficiency.

Parker’s newest album, Other Arrangements, (released via Thirty Tigers) finds him taking bold steps in new directions. Associated press says “Parker Millsap rocks harder than ever on his fourth album.” And Rolling Stone calls Other Arrangements Parker’s “tightest, sharpest and most infectious set of songs to date.”