Tacoma Arts Live announcement.
Tacoma Arts Live presents Voices of Mississippi, a multimedia event to that celebrates the people and art of the southern blues, gospel, and storytelling traditions of Mississippi on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater. Based on the double-Grammy Award-winning four-disc box set of the same name, the immersive concert features musical performances by notable Mississippi artists including Bobby Rush, Shardé Thomas, and Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, plus archival film and images and rare photographs by folklorist William ‘Bill’ Ferris, who will serve as host. Tickets start at $29 and are on sale now.
The show will share personal narratives and accounts from William Ferris, founding director of The University of Mississippi Center for The Study of Southern Culture and former Chairman of The National Endowment for the Humanities. A historian with a proudly egalitarian lens, 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 captured an invaluable archive of cultural and musical treasures, and much of that art and humanity are included in this unique concert experience. In 2010, Ferris worked with the record label Dust-to-Digital to curate his historic field recordings, films, and photographs into a presentation of his life’s work. From hundreds of hours of film, audio and photography, along with the collaborative work of experts in the field of blues and gospel music, came the stunning and moving collection of 3 CD’s, 1 DVD and a companion book: Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris. In 2019, Voices of Mississippi received Grammy Awards in both the Best Historical Album and Best Liner Notes categories.
Accompanying Ferris’ work are four renowned southern musicians:
Bobby Rush is a two-time Grammy winner and a Blues Hall of Famer, who has won fourteen Blues Music Awards from 53 nominations. He’s earned the highest honors of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year, while Rolling Stone named him “King of the Chitlin’ Circuit” and his LP Rush Hour among their top ten of the 1970s.
Shardé Thomas is the granddaughter of the late Othar Turner, the legendary Mississippi fife player who kept the fife and drum tradition alive. Thomas was her grandfather’s musical heir at a very young age and today is the lead vocalist and fife player in the Rising Stars Fife & Drum Band. After Turner passed away, Thomas took over the band, which now performs a mixture of blues, pop, hip hop, gospel, and folk music.
A gifted guitarist with an eclectic range of influences, Luther Dickinson has earned a reputation as an innovator in modern blues while also having a keen understanding and respect for its rich history. Whether co-leading the Grammy-nominated the North Mississippi Allstars with his drummer brother Cody, recording and performing solo, or collaborating with regional artists, his devotion to and experiments with roots sounds from the American South is total: blues, rockabilly, gospel, folk, and raw funky soul are just some of his genres.
Perhaps best known as the drummer and a founding member of the North Mississippi Allstars, Cody Dickinson earned three Grammy nominations as a member of the band. He has also personally garnered a Blues Music Awards nomination in the ‘Best Instrumentalist/Drums’ category, and was co-producer of the film Take Me to the River.
Tickets to Voices of Mississippi start at $29 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, call Tacoma Arts Live Box Office at 253.346.1721, visit in person at Tacoma Armory – 1001 S Yakima Ave., or online at www.TacomaArtsLive.org.