Stax Music Academy students join legendary Booker T. Jones: A Career Retrospective
As part of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music’s 20th Anniversary in 2023, the Stax Music Academy announced students and faculty will travel from Memphis to Manhattan to perform with legendary Stax man Booker T. Jones on July 12 at Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City festival in New York City. The event takes place at the David Rubenstein Atrium at 5 p.m.
Stax Music Academy students will perform Stax classics with the Stax living legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree Booker T. Jones of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s.
Memphis-based multimedia journalist, WYXR DJ and on-air personality Jared “Jay B.” Boyd will kick off an evening of Southern soul with a conversation with Booker T. This pre-show talk at the Atrium will be followed by “Strange And Mysterious Sounds” host The Big G, who will be DJing a dance party with Boss Radio 66’s Debbie Daughtry for all the attendees, including the The Stax Academy Rhythm Section.
Founded in 2000, Stax Music Academy is the world’s only arts education nonprofit that channels the success and tradition of Stax Records, the iconic Tennessee recording label that first presented the songs of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, and Booker T. and the M.G.’s to the world. The academy programming is equal parts music education and creative youth development mentoring to help create socially responsible and successful adults.
“As part of Stax Museum’s 20th Anniversary, it’s a sheer thrill to see a younger generation join Booker T., one of the architects of soul music,” said Stax Music Academy executive director Pat Mitchell Worley. “This will be the Stax Music Academy’s return to Lincoln Center, as they performed there for the same festival in 2011.”
Stax Music Academy is a program of the Soulsville Foundation, which also operates the Stax Museum and The Soulsville Charter School at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis.. The academy’s after-school and summer programs teach all aspects of music — from theory to performance, production and engineering to songwriting and music business. Now in its 23rd year, the academy has proven to be a vital afterschool program to the lives of more than 4,000 Memphis young people. Since 2008, Stax Music Academy graduates have had a 100% college acceptance rate and 100% of the 2021 class earned music scholarships to college to pay for their higher education.
In the past, Stax Music Academy students appeared with pop superstar and avid academy supporter Justin Timberlake, as part of the “Celebrating America” festivities marking the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The segment — shot in and around Soulsville — was watched by an estimated 11 million people. They have also performed with and opened for icons like Mavis Staples, George Clinton, William Bell, Faith Hill, Mable John, Kirk Whalum, Al Green, and B.B. King.