Stax Music Academy Celebrates Black History Month with Three Free Shows at Cannon Center

As its way to celebrate Black History Month this year, the Stax Music Academy (SMA) is presenting an original, Broadway-style musical production, “Welcome to Soulsville,” on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. There will be three performances, 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m, and 7:30 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public. The daytime performances are geared toward Memphis City Schools students and other young people and advance reservations are required. The evening performance is geared toward the general public. Seating is on a first come first served basis and reservations are required for groups of 50 or more.

The musical, written by SMA vocal director/operations director Just Merrick, is based on the history of the community surrounding the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy known as Soulsville, USA. It is the story of a group of young people and their journey through Soulsville, USA seeking to find out the real meaning of “soul.” Told through music, dance, drama, and fashion, the production includes new, original music as well as numbers by Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Tina Turner, and many others.

Bar-Kays lead singer Larry Dodson will appear as a special guest as will Soulsville Foundation CEO and Grammy-winning musician Kirk Whalum.

“The response we have received so far has been such that we had to add a third performance to the original two planned. Our goal is to make this an annual event and to make the signature Black History Month event for Memphis for years to come.”

“Welcome to Soulsville” is sponsored by ArtsMemphis, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Wilson Family Foundation, and The Commercial Appeal.

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