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The Mississippi Delta Meets the Jersey Shore

originally published: 05/09/2023

The Mississippi Delta Meets the Jersey Shore

(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music at Monmouth University and the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation (JSJBF) will premiere The Mississippi Delta Meets the Jersey Shore on Friday, June 2, 2023 at the Lauren K. Woods Theatre on the Monmouth University campus. The event begins at 8:00pm.

The evening will feature performances by Clarksdale, Mississippi’s finest, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod & The Allstars, with an opening set featuring local blues legend, Ken “Stringbean” Sorenson.

Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online or in person at the University's box office.

Roger Stolle, owner of Clarksdale, Mississippi’s Cat Head Delta Blues Store, describes Sherrod as “the torchbearer for the Clarksdale sound.” According to Living Blues Magazine, “There’s no one else of Anthony’s generation who has learned first-hand from and/or played with the last of the older generation who are gone now ... Anthony was there and absorbed the distinct sounds, vocals, playing and showmanship from each musician he encountered. He knows where the music came from.”

The Springsteen Center and the JSJBF have partnered to create this new Mississippi Delta/Jersey Shore musical, cultural, & educational series. Co-sponsors for this event are the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and Visit Clarksdale.

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Eileen Chapman, Director of the Springsteen Center said, “Delta blues plays a significant role in the landscape of American music. Dating back over 100 years, this music art form has been a major influence for both blues and rock performers throughout the world.  Contemporary artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Cat Power, the Rolling Stones and others were inspired by the works of Delta blues icons such as Son House, Robert Johnson and BB King. Our collaboration with JSJBF demonstrates our role in promoting all forms of American music and its impact on our culture.”

Christine Clark Zemla, Chair, JSJBF Education and Community Outreach said, “I love the Mississippi Delta! The beauty of its flat terrain and seemingly endless cotton fields may be surpassed only by its spectacular sunsets. And there’s music in the air. Always! Countless fans travel from around the globe to experience “the home of the blues,” and I know they receive the same warm welcome that I get every time I return. I’m thrilled to be launching a partnership in which we can join two communities bonded by rich musical legacies and – we may be surprised to learn – so much more!

“The Mississippi Delta’s cultural heritage is nationally and internationally significant, and that cultural heritage includes the Delta blues,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, executive director of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area based at Delta State University’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning. “We support Mississippi Delta cultural heritage ambassadorship, so we are honored to help bring Delta blues musicians and their authentic voices to The Mississippi Delta Meets the Jersey Shore event.”

To help offset the costs of this unique event, the JSJBF is currently running a Go Fund Me; those who are interested can contribute here: Bring Big A to NJ! 

The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University serves as the official archival repository for Bruce Springsteen’s written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts.  The Center preserves and promotes the legacy of Bruce Springsteen and his role in American music, while honoring and celebrating icons of American music like Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Gaslight Anthem and others.  The Archives comprise nearly 35,000 items from 47 countries, ranging from articles and concert memorabilia to artifacts and oral histories. The collection serves the research and informational needs of music fans, scholars, authors, and others with a serious interest in the life and career of Bruce Springsteen.  By appointment only.

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