5th Annual Blues Conference

Joining President LaForge is Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the Blues Conference committee and chair of the languages and literature division at Delta State.

Delta State’s 5th Annual International Conference on the Blues starts Sunday and will celebrate a trailblazing legend as well as highlight a rising star.

We will celebrate Blues legend Muddy Waters. Born McKinley Morganfield in Rolling Fork, Mississippi in 1915, he was sent at age three to live with his grandmother on the Stovall Plantation, north of Clarksdale. He got the nickname ‘Muddy’ for playing in nearby creeks and puddles.  Waters began playing harmonica at the age of seven and took up guitar at 17. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

His hits included “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Got My Mojo Workin’,” and “Mannish Boy.”

Delta State will honor him with a concert called the Morganfield Family Reunion at the courthouse in downtown Cleveland at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 1.

The rising star on the bill is Trombone Shorty. Born Troy Andrews in 1986 into a well-known New Orleans musical family, he began playing professionally at age four or five, and mastered several instruments.

His albums include Parking Lot Symphony from 2017 and Say That to This in 2013. Trombone Shorty has played at the White House numerous times, backed Macklemore and Madonna at the Grammy Awards; and, landed the closing set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The Blues Conference will feature a conversation with Trombone Shorty, AKA, the reveler of “supafunkrock,” at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2 in Zeigel Hall. He also performs the closing concert with Orleans Avenue at 7:30 PM on that same day in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The conference also includes numerous scholarly presentations—about Muddy Waters and family; African storytelling as inspiration for blues; the role of music in civil rights; and, the healing power of the blues.

Charles Reagan Wilson, professor emeritus of history and Southern studies at University of Mississippi, will give the keynote address at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2 in Zeigel Hall.

In other news on campus, on Wednesday, September 26 at noon on the Quadrangle, the Office of Student Life is hosting an event to raise awareness for gender violence called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. And, mark your calendars for the first Colloquia program of the year, which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9 with Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA.

To keep up with all of our news, events and activities, please visit our website at deltastate.edu.

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