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5:15-6:15pm Corey Harris

The music of Corey Harris is a celebration of roots—the roots of the blues, but also the Africanist roots of American vernacular music overall. His art incorporates elements drawn from throughout the African Diaspora, and his message, an uncompromising demand for justice and social equality, also resonates with a deep-hearted and exuberant celebration of life. Born in Denver in 1969, Harris began his musical career as a street singer in New Orleans. He also lived for a while in Cameroon, West Africa – meaning that by the time he recorded his debut, Between Midnight and Day, for Alligator in 1995, the depth and range of his musical palette had already been forged. That disk and its follow-up, Fish Ain’t Bitin showcased his mastery of the southern U.S. acoustic blues tradition; since then  his offerings have also increasingly emphasized a diverse palette of diasporan influences, ranging from funk, New Orleans soul, and blends of the Louisiana Creole and Cajun heritages through reggae and other more explicitly Africanist forms and voices. He has also honed his message, bringing the liberatory spirit that has always been at the heart of blues expression to the forefront. (DW)

6:30-7:30pm Mr. Sipp

Castro “Mr. Sipp” Coleman got his start as a gospel artist. He took up the guitar early on, playing with several gospel groups in and around his hometown of McComb, Miss., and he eventually appeared on more than 50 gospel recordings, at the same time honing his skills as a songwriter and producer. In 2013, he created the persona of  Mr. Sipp, the Mississippi Blues Child, and began performing as a blues artist. He won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2014; the following year, he released The Mississippi Blues Child on Malaco (with whom he had originally signed as a gospel artist), propelling himself into the forefront of the contemporary Southern blues world.  He’s remained there ever since, galvanizing crowds and critics alike with his pyrotechnic guitar work, emotion-charged vocals, and church-honed, housewrecking stage presence. A gifted showman capable of taking his audience on an emotional journey from deep-blue introspection through hard-partying ecstasy to soul-soothing spiritual uplift, Mr. Sipp has never forsaken his roots – his latest release, Old Time Church, is a gospel outing – but whether sacred or secular, his music is healing, inspirational, and knows no boundaries. (DW)

Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters’ second guitarist in the late 1940s and early ’50s, lent his rhythmic, chordal, and harmonic sophistication to Muddy’s Delta-rooted slide and vocals with such precision that their music together often sounded like the work of a single mind, a unified blues consciousness that remains a wonder to this day. Rogers’ own Chess recordings are recognized as classics, and he also appeared as an accompanist on sides by such legendary figures as Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, and Floyd Jones. Guitarist Jimmy D. Lane is Rogers’ son, and his own resume includes extensive touring with his band Blue Earth as well as a robust and still-expanding discography; bassist Sebastian Lane, his grandson. Bob Margolin was Muddy’s guitarist; harpist Kim Wilson was a longtime musical associate of Rogers. Drummer Kenny Smith’s father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, played drums for Muddy; pianist Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is a master of the traditional Chicago style.  Bassist Felton Crews’ resume includes work with everyone from Charlie Musselwhite to Miles Davis, and he appeared on the 2015 tribute album Muddy Waters 100. Join us for this remembrance of a true blues immortal.(DW)


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