Voices of Mississippi, the immersive multimedia event celebrating the music, art, and storytelling traditions of the people of Mississippi, has announced five upcoming performances following a critically acclaimed run of sold-out shows last year. The newly announced dates include performances at San Luis Obispo, CA’s Cal Poly Arts (February 1), Tacoma, WA’s Pantages Theatre (February 2), North Bethesda, MD’s Strathmore (February 4), St. Louis, MO’s Sheldon Concert Hall (February 10), Overland Park, KS’s Midwest Trust Center at Johnson County Community College (February 11).
No one has done more to preserve, protect, promote, and respect the voices and images of the South, in particular the Mississippi Delta, than William Ferris. His depth of knowledge and his meticulous research, combined with his reverence for his subject matter, is humbling and inspiring. Those of us who care about this culture, this music, and these people owe him a great debt.”
With a broad array of photos, film clips, stories and live music, Voices of Mississippi paints a powerful picture of a unique time and place that remains an essential piece of the American cultural fabric. Based on 2019’s 2x GRAMMY® Award-winning box set, Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris, the program integrates film, audio recordings, and rare photographs captured by renowned folklorist William “Bill” Ferris alongside features live performances from musicians Luther and Cody Dickinson of the 3x GRAMMY® Award-nominated North Mississippi Allstars and Sharde Thomas of the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, all of whom are direct descendants of artists documented by Ferris. Special guests on select dates include 2x GRAMMY® Award-winning Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush (February 1, 2, 4) and 10x Blues Music Award-winner Ruthie Foster (February 10, 11).
Voices of Mississippi was first performed at the University of Mississippi on September 14, 2021. February 2022 saw the production hosted by New York City’s Jazz At Lincoln Center for four remarkable, sold-out performances. Performances at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Savannah, GA’s Savannah Music Festival followed in April 2022. Additional performances will be announced soon.
A historian with a proudly egalitarian lens, William “Bill” Ferris studied Mississippi as a slice of humanity in which everyone and everything was interconnected—and in which the beating heart of broader cultural traditions could be found in some of the most overlooked figures and places. From the 1960s through the 1990s, Ferris – whose widely praised 2017 TED Talk, “Memory and Place in the American South,” can be viewed here – captured an invaluable archive of cultural and musical treasures, and much of that art and humanity is shared in this unique concert experience.
Voices of Mississippi taps into the rich world of Southern musicians, storytellers, and writers. Their beautiful voices touched my heart. Bill Ferris is a profound historian. I am his biggest fan!!”
First released by Dust-to-Digital in 2018, Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris proved a watershed release for Ferris, one that saw his decades of recording and filmmaking recognized with GRAMMY® Awards for “Best Historical Album” and “Best Liner Notes.” Hailed by The Guardian as a “box set – 10 years in the making – of blues and gospel music, films, and storytelling that offers a window on to Ferris’s life’s work and its Delta origins in profound and revelatory ways,” Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris is available now via Dust-to-Digital as 120-page-hardcover book with 3 CDs and 1 DVD, also including a download/streaming code, here.
VOICES OF MISSISSIPPI – FEBRUARY 2023
1 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Cal Poly Arts *
2 – Tacoma, WA – Pantages Theatre *
4 – North Bethesda, MD – Strathmore *
10 – St. Louis, MO – Sheldon Concert Hall †
11 – Overland Park, KS – Midwest Trust Center at Johnson County Community College †
* w/ Special Guest Bobby Rush
† w/ Special Guest Ruthie Foster