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Music & Arts

Arts and culture

The bad-boy of Enrico Fermi High School is less than welcome when he unexpectedly returns to school as a revenant zombie in Arkansas State University Theater’s production of Zombie Prom, which opens on Friday in the Drama Theatre at the Fowler Center.  After all, Rule Number 7, Subsection 9 of the Handbook of Student Life clearly states “no zombies,” according to the school’s principal, Miss Strict.

Still, Zombie Jonny, who died three weeks earlier when he flung himself into the cooling tower of the Francis Gary Powers nuclear plant in a fit of teenage heartbreak, is determined to graduate and win back the heart of good-girl Toffee and take her to the prom.

“I have to go back behind stage and I have a whole amazing crew that helps me get the makeup on and prepare for that, and it all has to happen in less than 10 minutes, so it’s going to be awesome to see it on stage,” said theater major Zac Passmore, who plays Jonny.  He was attracted to the role of the only actual zombie in the story because of its lead vocals — Zombie Prom is, of course, a musical — and the challenges of playing a larger-than-life character authentically.

The Little Rock-based Psych of the South record label recently released "Baby Doll," a CD featuring music by a 1960s band called the Playboys, which was a group of teenagers from Pine Bluff.  The group performed regularly in the region around Pine Bluff in the early 1960s.  Under the name The Magnificent Seven, the group released a 45 rpm single in 1962 on the Vee-Eight record label.  An unreleased, live recording of the band from 1963 was discovered, and the new CD features that recording and both sides of the 45 rpm record. 

Wikipedia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Soundgarden and Sturgill Simpson are among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis in May.

Festival officials also announced Wednesday that Widespread Panic, Death Cab for Cutie, Wiz Khalifa, Booker T. Jones, Bush, Ludacris and Jill Scott also are in the lineup for the 41st installment of the annual three-day festival.

The city of Newport will host the ninth annual Delta Visual Arts Show this Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a variety of venues in the downtown area of the city.  KASU's Marty Scarbrough spoke with Jon Chadwell, steering committee chairperson for the event, who described in detail the events which will occur in Newport on Saturday.

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Kevin Prater Band to Perform at Next Bluegrass Monday

Feb 16, 2017
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO — The Kevin Prater Band will perform a concert Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in downtown Paragould.  The concert is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM.  KASU will literally “pass the hat” to collect money to pay the musicians.  The suggested donation is $5 per person.

Arkansas State University

An annual music festival to celebrate the music of the Man in Black is literally being moved to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home…or that is, next to the home.  

In 2011, Arkansas State University started the process of acquiring and restoring the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess.  In order to raise funds for the project, the Johnny Cash Music Festival was held in Jonesboro. 

Over the years, the boyhood house, the old theatre building and the administration building have been restored under the first phase of the project, thanks to the proceeds from the music festival. 

Jekalyn Carr Official Website

The Grammy’s are right around the corner, and 4 music artists from Northeast Arkansas were nominated.  One of the nominees, Jekalyn Carr, is a Gospel music recording artist from West Memphis who had her first hit single at the age of 14.  

This week, in the music department at Arkansas State University, Mr. Richard Pearson Thomas is serving as “composer in residence.”

He is working with students from the ASU Opera Theatre as they will present his comedic opera A Wake or A Wedding later this year.

The state of Arkansas may be officially recognizing more poets soon. The Arkansas House on Monday approved changes to the committee which appoints the state Poet Laureate and shortened its term. State Representative Carlton Wing of North Little Rock introduced his measure in a fitting style.

“What this house bill does is help more folks take the post.

No longer a lifetime appointment, it’s now four years at the most.

Arkansas State University

PIGGOTT, Ark. — A dinner featuring special guest Valerie Hemingway, who was Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway’s personal secretary and confidante and later the wife of his youngest son, will highlight the annual reading retreat, hosted by the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center (HPMEC), Saturday, April 1, at the museum, 1021 W. Cherry Street, Piggott.

Michael Hibblen, KUAR Website (kuarpublicradio.org)

JONESBORO — A call for presentations for a public symposium in conjunction with the inaugural Johnny Cash Heritage Festival has been issued by Arkansas State University. The symposium, “Johnny Cash:  Arts and Artistry from the New Deal into the 21st Century,” will be held in Dyess, Ark., Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 19-21. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the A-State Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program. 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A new entertainment complex featuring exhibits and restaurants focused on the life and career of Elvis Presley is scheduled to open in March at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

The 200,000-square foot complex will be located across the street from Graceland, Presley's longtime home. The house was turned into a museum after his death in 1977. It has attracted Presley fans and tourists from around the world ever since.

Wikipedia

Four Northeast Arkansas music artists have been nominated for a Grammy Award.

The Recording Academy announced Tuesday the nominees for this year's Grammy Awards ceremony.  Jonesboro natives Zach Williams and Jonathan Smith were nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for their song "Chain Breaker."  The duo co-wrote the song with Mia Fieldes who was also nominated in the category.

Arkansas State University

An exhibition of artwork by local students opens at the Bradbury Art Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with a public reception, 5-6:30 p.m.

Featured in two galleries will be paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media objects by Jonesboro High School art students.  The exhibition continues through Dec. 7.

In September three JHS classes and BAM began a semester-long project.  The students first toured the museum, discussing the portrait-themed exhibitions on display. In response, they then created a portrait of their own, inspired by the work they had seen on their visit.

An Irish band known for its collaborations with Nashville musicians will perform as part of Arkansas State University’s free lecture-concert series October 16 at 3 p.m. in Riceland Hall in ASU’s Fowler Center. The Brock McGuire band’s Jonesboro appearance is underwritten by KASU, the on- air and online public media service of A-State, with additional support from Dr. James and Mary Sheridan of Campbell, Mo.; Dr. Troy Bartels, “Dentistry for the Entire Family;” Donn & Kacky Mixon of Jonesboro; and the ASU-Lecture Concert Series.
 

Instrumental music faculty expands to meet growth

Aug 17, 2016
Arkansas State University

    When the Sound of the Natural State Marching Band takes the field at Centennial Bank Stadium the first Friday in September, Dr. Polly Middleton will proudly watch the A-State students perform their first halftime show under her direction.

Middleton, who is stepping into the marching band tradition at A-State, is the new director of athletic bands and assistant director of bands in the Department of Music.

To “FIND ” KASU’s next Community Concert Event – get “LOST”!

KASU Radio’s next concert in Jonesboro will be on July 21 with Mark Currey playing at Lost Pizza Company, 906 Southwest Drive, Suite A.

Mark Currey is a Little Rock singer-songwriter whose roots run through North Texas and Southeast Arkansas. Inspired by roots rock, classic country, folk and Americana music -- as well as southern gothic literature --  Mark says “I’m a storyteller searching for an  honest expression of my own Southern voice. “

Doreen Selden, KASU

Students from the Arkansas State University Department of Art have been working on painting this mural in downtown Jonesboro.  On Friday,  the students were joined with city officials for a ribbon cutting of the unveiling of their work.  Thanks to KASU's Doreen Selden for taking the pictures of the festivities.

Pixabay

Trumpeter Wayne Jackson, one half of the musical duo "The Memphis Horns", passed away at the age of 74 on Tuesday.  Jackson was a native of West Memphis.  KASU's Mike Doyle spoke with two Arkansans who knew Jackson well.  

KASU

  For the next KASU Coffee House Concert June 16, four local and regional musicians reunite, about 25 years after they first played together.

Sarah Jo Roark and John T. Parks have performed as a vocal duo in restaurants and at private functions throughout the Melbourne-Batesville-Hardy area. The other duo – Vikki McGee and Sonny Campbell – are familiar players at Jonesboro area venues.  Members of these separate duos played in a couple of different bands in the 1990s and are looking forward to being on stage together again.

Jeff Scroggins and Colorado will perform a concert of bluegrass music on Monday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m. at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in downtown Paragould

A-State alumnus Rob Reep will show his film Captain tonight at the Humanities and Social Sciences Building on the A-State campus.  KASU Station Manager Mike Doyle talks to Reep about his film, which focuses on a family that makes a move to Arkansas around the time of the War of 1812. 

Arkansas State University

New members are being recruited for the A-State University-Community Choir.  In November, this ensemble will perform selections from a very popular and well-known piece of choral music, Handel’s Messiah.  Concerts will be held in both Jonesboro and Blytheville.

KASU's Program Director Marty Scarbrough interviews Dr. Dale Miller, Director of Choral Activities at Arkansas State University. Click on the Listen button above. 

Paul Thorn returns to Helena for two shows

Jun 1, 2015
Courtesy of paulthorn.com

The Paul Thorn Band will do two shows at the Malco Theater in Helena on June 12th and 13th, at 7:30 each night. Tickets are available at KingBiscuitFestival.com. Here's our interview with Paul, which aired on Arkansas Roots...

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