This Saturday, the Central Mississippi Blues Society is presenting the Bicentennial event, â200 Years of Shared History: Mississippi and the Bluesâ at the historic Alamo Theater on North Farish Street in Jackson. The free program, which runs from 1:p.m. to 7:p.m. and will be hosted by blues/soul vocalist (and CMBS vice president) Pat Brown, will present a mix of talks, performances and film showings.
The event starts at 1:p.m. with a prayer by Imam Abdul Rasheed, one of the featured vocalists in the CMBSâs âBlue Monday Band,â and formerly a bassist and vocalist in the House Rockers. Speakers at the event will include Bobby Rush, who will talk about âMy Life in the Blues,â Edgar Smith, who will address the connections between African music and Mississippi blues, and Angela Stewart, archivist of the Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center at Jackson State University, who will address various elements of culture that influenced the blues.
The event will also feature 20-minute performances/commentary from blues artists Ben Wiley Payton, Chris Gill, McKinney âBluesmanâ Williams, and soul vocalist Amanda Humphrey. It will conclude with a concert by the Blue Monday Band starting shortly before 6:p.m.
Interspersed in the program will be footage from the documentaries âAmericaâs Bluesâ and the recent âI Am the Blues,â which features contemporary blues veterans including Rush.
The Alamo Theater itself is an important part of blues history. Founded in 1915 at 134 North Farish Street, the theater moved in the 1920s to nearby Amite Street before relocating to its current location in 1949. In its early decades the Alamo featured concerts by artists including Elmore James, and in the early â60s was the…