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Jun 17

Boston – Terrance Stewart, 18, of Crystal Springs, will spend five weeks of his summer in Boston, July 9 – August 12, studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music on full scholarship. The vocalist will join teens from all over the world for Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program.

Stewart’s scholarship comes from the Berklee Mississippi Music Exchange initiative that trades education, music, and culture between Berklee and kindred organizations throughout Mississippi. This is the fourth year that Berklee has awarded summer scholarships to students from the Crystal Springs area taking part in programs with the Robert Johnson Blues Museum.

Stewart, a member of the Crystal Springs High School class of 2011, performed two songs for his scholarship audition, including the gospel number “He Wants It All,” by Forever Jones. Stewart is a member of the Full Gospel Outreach Miracle Ministry Choir, performing at churches, school events, and weddings. He lists Usher and R. Kelly as influences.

Steven Johnson, vice president of the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation, hosted the audition. The other talented scholarship hopefuls who auditioned were Antranekia Willis, Daquan Powell, Kimbriana Christmas, Tashyro Smith, and Cornisha Stringer, all backed by Berklee students and a professor. The Berklee group subsequently performed at various venues and schools, toured blues and civil rights sites with a local historian, and auditioned more summer scholarship hopefuls in Clarksdale.

Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 25th year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available--anywhere. With its diversity of study options, world-class Berklee faculty, visiting artists, and state-of-the-art facilities, it’s the premiere contemporary music summer program for young musicians. Approximately 900 participants from around the world share in this unique summer experience--all instruments, all contemporary styles, and all levels of musical ability.

Steven Johnson and Terrance Stewart
Jun 16

The story of a blues legend from Mississippi will play out Friday night on the stage of the Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.

"Robert Johnson: The Man, the Myth & the Music" - starring blues musician Vasti Jackson - focuses on the events surrounding the much fabled life of Johnson and presents some of his more obscure tunes.

Jackson said it is important that people understand the play will not just be "a guy on the porch with an acoustic guitar."

"The play's going to be a great forum for edutainment," he said. "It's going to provide a lot of information and a lot of music."

Read more at HattiesburgAmerican.com.

Blues musician Vasti Jackson will portray blues legend Robert Johnson in the play Robert Johnson: The Man, the Myth & the Music

World-renowned blues musician Vasti Jackson will portray blues legend Robert Johnson in the play “Robert Johnson: The Man, the Myth & the Music” at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Saenger Theater.

Jun 10

Join us at the 32nd Annual Mississippi Picnic, this Saturday June 11th in New York's Central Park. Michael Johnson, grandson of Robert Johnson, is on the agenda at 2 p.m. EDT to tell the legend of his grandfather, and how he is said to have "sold his soul to the devil." Please view our Events section for more information.

Jun 08

The 100th birthday of Robert Johnson will be celebrated at the annual Chicago Blues Festival this weekend, featuring a panel discussion with Steven Johnson, his grandson. The Blues Fest, which runs from Friday, June 10th through Sunday, June 12th, will be held at Grant Park, Michigan Avenue and Congress Drive, in Chicago. Admission is free. You can visit ChicagoBluesFestival.us for more information.

May 25

Guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has reviewed Robert Johnson's "The Complete Original Masters: Centennial Edition," noting "the clarity on this new collection is not to believed. The improvement is one of leaps and bounds. ... The richness, raw emotion and pain that was in Johnson's voice and the sound of his guitar playing – it's all right there. Such a spooky vibe. Sonically, it's a wonder."

Shepherd wrote, "For a guy like me, listening to Robert Johnson is always quite humbling. When I pick up an acoustic guitar and I try to play the blues, the first guy I think of, always, is Robert Johnson. And it's not like I'm trying to copy him; I'm just inspired by him. Truthfully, I'm not capable of copying him."

Read the complete review at MusicRadar.com.

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