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Released Februrary 18, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Acoustic blues, bluegrass, gospel and early country will be on tap March 6 at the spring 2004 edition of the popular Roots Reunion concert series.

The concert - a production of The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage - will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.

Free and open to the public, the show is the continuation of a successful series of live radio shows and concerts featuring traditional South Mississippi artists.

Featuring an exciting mix of music, the program will be broadcast live on South Mississippi's public radio station based at Southern Miss, WUSM, 88.5 FM. Hot food also will be served starting at 6 p.m. for the benefit of the Southern Miss Feral Cat Association.

"We pride ourselves on presenting an exciting sample of the traditional music of South Mississippi," says Chris Goertzen, ethnomusicologist at Southern Miss and Roots Reunion programming consultant. "Roots showcases both older traditions and forms that may be new to us but are traditional elsewhere or based on tradition in fascinating ways."

The program, headlined by renowned blues guitarist Vasti Jackson, promises to continue a Roots tradition of showcasing some of the finest blues artists in Mississippi. A Hattiesburg resident, Jackson has performed and recorded with blues legends such as B.B. King, Robert Cray and John Lee Hooker.

The show will also feature bluegrass music by Grants Ferry, a cappella gospel with the Meyers Family, and hammered dulcimer music with Jess Dickinson. Inspirational gospel will be performed by Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi.

The Patchwork String Band brings a much older style of music to the stage with its old-time country and string numbers. The group of South Mississippians forms the house band, opening and closing the show.

"Roots Reunion is becoming a South Mississippi institution. The performers continue to get stronger and the audiences are better each time," said Stephen Sloan, assistant director of the Center for Oral History. "We look forward to the shows as much as anyone. It's a treat for the center to bring this to the community."

Roots Reunion is sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Purple Parrot Café and Crescent City Grill, and the Southern Miss Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, Department of History and School of Music. For more information, call 266-4574.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM