TRAC presents REWIND of the Shoals Friday night

The Two Rivers Arts Council (TRAC) is hosting a concert featuring REWIND of the Shoals on Friday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center. REWIND of the Shoals is a ten piece Oldies/Motown band which prides itself in providing quality entertainment for all occasions.

The band is a very versatile and multi-talented group, performing the most requested hits from the sixties, seventies and eighties as well as many other top 40 hits from yesterday’s charts. REWIND of the Shoals features both male and female vocalists, keyboards, bass, percussion, guitar and a five-piece horn section consisting of three trumpets, a trombone, and a saxophone.

If you are looking for that nostalgic 60’s/Motown sound, they have it. If you just want to “Rock,” they do that and 70’s disco. The band is comprised of some of the most talented, respected and dedicated musicians around. They are all very passionate about music and love to perform. The group always elicits a very enthusiastic response and will do whatever it takes to make sure the audience is pleased.

Tickets are $10 at the door and arts council member’s admission is included in the annual membership. Bring your own beverage or favorite spirits. Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

For more information, contact Judy Etheridge at (334) 295-4254.

Two Rivers Arts Council hosting Artist Showcase Sunday

More than a dozen artists are slated to exhibit their work in the Two Rivers Arts Council’s Artist Showcase.

The event will take place on Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. at the Demopolis Public Library. The event started in 2003 and was an annual event until 2008.

“We are very excited to bring this event back to our community,” said Two Rivers Arts Council President Carolyn Cowling. “It’s an opportunity to see what the community is doing by way of art and hobbies. We hope everyone will come out and see the talent that we are fortunate to have here in the Black Belt.”

The event is free to the public and refreshments will be served. Artists may choose to sell their pieces during the showcase. If you are interested in displaying your art in the Artist Showcase, contact Carolyn Cowling at cowling@mindspring.com or 334.341.3375.

TRAC presents A Christmas Choral Sampler Nov. 17

On Nov. 17, the University of West Alabama Concert Choir and Singers, in collaboration with the Two Rivers Arts Council (TRAC), will present A Christmas Choral Sampler at 6 p.m. at the Demopolis High School Auditorium. This is the first of three UWA choral concerts this semester.

The community is invited to come enjoy a preview of The University of West Alabama’s upcoming Dec. 3 performance of Handel’s Messiah, along with selections from holiday classics like The Boar’s Head Carol, of the Father’s Love Begotten, and the Twelve Days of Christmas!

“Thanks to the Two Rivers Arts Council, Demopolis is our first stop for Christmas caroling”, said Dr. Christopher Shelt, the group’s conductor. “We want to get the people of Demopolis in the Christmas spirit with excellent Christmas vocal music. The Nov. 17 Demopolis concert is one of two prelude concerts leading up to the Dec. 3 evening performance of Handel’s Messiah on the UWA Campus. The second prelude concert is earlier in the day on Dec. 3, a 2:30 p.m. family concert entitled “UWA Young People Sing at Christmas.”

Alongside UWA faculty and student players, Shelt is bringing in players from the Mississippi Symphony to accompany both the concerts on Saturday, Dec. 3. Two professional soloists, both trained by Shelt, will sing some of the Messiah solos along with UWA student soloists. A Christmas Choral Sampler will feature several preview performances of Messiah choruses along with other Christmas classics.

Within the next five years, Shelt, who is the new Professor of Vocal Music at UWA, wants to build an unparalleled culture of vocal music-making at UWA, the very finest in its history. He wants to see UWA a recognized vocal leader in the State of Alabama, bringing great vocal music of all kinds to the Black Belt Region, building a culture of great singing that impacts children and adults in our extended community. This vision includes producing Music Majors in the Vocal Arts at UWA, who will impact the world. Shelt is a formidable choral and orchestral conductor with three decades of experience. He is vocal pedagogy instructor and active student of vocal science with more than 18 years of university level experience, training studio teachers, music educators, and church musicians in state-of-the-art vocal methodologies. He is also a clinician and consultant in vocal music, doing many seminars in vocal pedagogy, locally and internationally, at conservatories in Peru and Indonesia as well as in other parts of the world.

Come out on Nov. 17 and hear A Christmas Choral Sampler, featuring selections from Handel’s Messiah along with selections from holiday classics like The Boar’s Head Carol, Of the Father’s Love Begotten, and The Twelve Days of Christmas. General admission is $10, while students and TRAC members are free. Tickets can be purchased at the Demopolis Public Library or at the door the night of the performance.

TRAC presents ‘Lady Sings the Blues’

B.J. Reed. (Contributed Photo)

B.J. Reed. (Contributed Photo)

The Two Rivers Arts Council (TRAC) will present Lady Sings the Blues featuring B.J. Reed on Saturday, July 23 at 7 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center.

World-class gospel, jazz and contemporary vocalist, Brenda “B.J.” Reed, is acclaimed by her fans, audiences, and critics alike for her dynamic and captivating vocal performances. For years she has touched the hearts of many through her soulful performances. “B.J.” as she is affectionately called, delivers incredibly moving vocal performances that embraces her strong social, philosophical and religious values. Lady Sings the Blues is a night of jazz, rhythm, and blues. B.J. Reed evokes the sounds of Dinah Washington, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday as well as other selections from jazz greats.

Reed has traveled throughout the United States performing soul-stirring renditions of some of America’s best-loved recordings. Included in her travels are Las Vegas, NV where she sang at several area lounges on the Las Vegas strip; Harlem, NY where she performed at the Apollo Theater live on “Showtime At The Apollo” (1991); Washington, DC on Capitol Hill (1997) where she sang at the birthday celebration of Senator Ted Kennedy; Houston, TX for the wedding of former LA Lakers player, Robert Horry (1999); and Savanna, GA where she was a quarterfinalist in the International American Traditions Competition during the “Savannah On Stage Arts Festival” (2002). Reed was the winner of the Pride Talent Search as the “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 1990, 1995 and 1998. Her professional debut was launched in 1999 and held at the gorgeous Bama Theater attended by hundreds of enthusiastic supporters.

Although gospel is her first love, Reed performs jazz, R&B and other genres of music in collaboration with a variety of local and national musicians. She studied voice at Stillman College under the direction of Dr. James A. Williams from 1976-78. She attended Nancy Bounds Modeling and Finishing School in Omaha, NE in 1989. Reed returned to Stillman in 2000 and graduated with honors in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Today, she continues to entertain at a variety of events and works devoutly to inspire the youth as a vocal instructor for the Alabama Blues Project.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Admission is free for TRAC members. The arts council will provide light refreshments, and guests are invited to bring anything sweet or savory, as well as a beverage of their choosing. For more information contact Morgan Allen at 334.289.1595 or visit www.brendabjreed.com

Friday on the Square: Cashmere Williams and Band

Jazz Concert_May 2016

DEMOPOLIS—Join friends, family and co-workers to experience Friday on the Square featuring a jazz concert by Cashmere Williams and his band on Friday, May 13 from 7-9 p.m.

Cashmere Williams has become one of the most prominent musicians in the Southeast. He has recorded three albums on Lenoah Records Label established in 1998. Williams started playing the guitar in church at the young age of seven where he honed his skills and learned how to interact with different musicians. In 1995, he was accepted into Berkley College of Music on a partial scholarship where he majored in composition and arranging while studying with world-class musicians. In 2003, he was asked to back Ruben Studdard and began touring nationally appearing on shows like The David Letterman Show, The Ellen DeGeneres show, the Jay Leno Show, The View, and many more.

After three years on the road, Williams slowed down so he could focus on spending time with his newly born daughter Harmonie Williams which spawned his latest release “New Birth.” Presently, Williams is working on publishing his first book due for release in 2016.

“Police Chief Tommie Reese encouraged the arts council to contact Cashmere Williams for a jazz concert on Public Square,” says Two Rivers Arts Council President Morgan Allen. “Chief Reese said that Williams and his band performed at the annual conference for the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police this year and did an amazing job. He thought their music would be well received in Demopolis. After listening to Williams’s music on YouTube, I agree. I think our community is in for an entertaining night of music!”

The event is sponsored by the Two Rivers Arts Council and the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce. This event is free and the public is encouraged to bring coolers, chairs, and blankets for this night of jazz in the Public Square in historic, downtown Demopolis. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the Marengo County History and Archives Museum located behind The Mustard Seed in the Rosenbush Building.

We encourage everyone in Marengo County to support the arts by becoming a member of the Two Rivers Arts Council. An Individual membership is $25 and a patron membership that includes two membership cards is $60. Membership brochures and more information are available at the Demopolis Public Library, the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and at any of our events. For more information contact Judy Etheridge at (334) 295-4254, Morgan Allen at (334) 289-1595, or visit us on Facebook.

Two Rivers Arts Council partners with Chamber for First Friday

DEMOPOLIS — The Two Rivers Arts Council in Marengo County is partnering with the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce for First Friday on the Square featuring an outdoor movie on Friday, April 1.

Join friends, family or co-workers to experience First Friday on the Square in historic, downtown Demopolis from 6-9 p.m. April’s First Friday will feature the Disney Pixar Film Inside Out. It is a family friendly adventure and comedy released in 2015. It follows young Riley after she is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. This movie was selected after polling community members on social media. This event is free and the public is encouraged to bring coolers, chairs, and blankets. Collins Communications is providing the sound for this event.

“We are excited about the next First Friday in the Square scheduled for Friday, April 1,” said Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Director Ashley Coplin. “We will be showing the new Disney movie Inside Out. This is a great event for the entire family to enjoy and it is free.”

The Two Rivers Arts Council is also presenting The Randy Glenn Band on Saturday, April 2 at the Demopolis Civic Center from 7-10 p.m. The Randy Glenn Band performs for Music on Main Street in Columbiana, Alabama. The six member band plays music from the 1950’s-1990’s and offers a variety of songs for diverse audiences. It’s described as “music you can dance to.” Tickets are $10 at the door for non-arts council members. Bring your own beverage and the arts council will provide setups and light hors d’oeuvres.

The Two Rivers Arts Council would like to encourage you to become an arts council member. All members receive newsletters and a membership card that allows them admission to events. This year’s events The Randy Glenn Band, Alabama School of Fine Arts, B.J. Reed, the Tiger Arts Guild’s Spring production of The Lion King, and the University of West Alabama’s Christmas Concert in Demopolis. An individual membership is $25 and a patron membership that includes two membership cards is $60. Membership brochures and more information are available at the Demopolis Public Library, the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and at any of our events. For more information contact Judy Etheridge at (334) 295-4254, Morgan Allen at (334) 289-1595, or visit us on Facebook.

TRAC announces 2016 schedule of events

The Two Rivers Arts Council in Marengo County (TRAC) is starting their 2016 season with a membership drive and concert with 2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 6-9 p.m. at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum in Demopolis.

2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs have been providing fans with their premium blend of blues, rock, funk, and gospel for years. Whether they are putting their original twists on Delta Blues when performing in an unplugged acoustic duo or trio, or bringing the funk in their electrified four- or five-piece configuration, 2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs create their own unique brew to rock your bones and soothe your soul.

The genesis of the band was the acoustic duo of Bruce Andrews and George Dudley, who adopted the name “2BLU.” With the addition of drums, bass, and percussion, the boys become “2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs.” Why the name? The guys are “lucky” to share a mix of music, faith, and life experience with anyone who will listen. On top of that, they’re a bunch of “stiffs,” old dudes who can’t quit playing and wouldn’t dream of quitting in the first place. 2BLU’s lyrical approach frequently reflects the band’s Christian faith, usually in a non-traditional format, mixing secular and faith themes in their tunes; exactly as life mixes the everyday grind with the divine. This combination represents the roots of the Blues. Diverse instrumentation includes custom hand-built lap steel guitars, bass guitars and hand percussion by bassist Jack Dudley of Don’t Fret Instruments.

Tickets for the 2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs concert can be purchased at the door. TRAC members are admitted with a membership card. Members of the Marengo County History and Archives Museum and students are admitted free. Water, spiced tea and snacks will be provided or bring your own beverage or spirit of choice and sweets or savories.

The TRAC is a nonprofit 501 c3 entity whose mission is to encourage and stimulate the practice and appreciation of the arts among the people living in Demopolis and Marengo County. The Council strives to bring quality arts exhibits and performances to the community and to encourage local efforts which enable the community citizens to create and make their own arts. The Council is run by a board consisting of Bill Barley, Frank Calloway, Carolyn Cowling, Judy Etheridge, Kaye Evans, Sarah Chandler Hallmark, Sheron Laney, Bobbi Mitchell, Morgan Walters, Laurie Willingham, and Morgan Allen. There are currently three board member positions available. Contact Morgan Allen at 334.289.1595 if you are interested in serving.

The TRAC would like to encourage you to become an arts council member. All members receive newsletters and a membership card that allows them admission to events. This year’s events include concerts by 2BLU and the Lucky Stiffs, Randy Glenn Band, Alabama School of Fine Arts, B.J. Reed, University of West Alabama and the Tiger Arts Guild’s spring production. An individual membership is $25 and a patron membership that includes two membership cards is $60. Membership brochures and more information are available at the Demopolis Public Library, the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and at any of our events. For more information contact Judy Etheridge at (334) 295-4254, Morgan Allen at (334) 289-1595, or visit us on Facebook.

Two Rivers Arts Council presents ‘Lady Sings the Blues’

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Two Rivers Arts Council to present “Lady Sings the Blues”

DEMOPOLIS, Ala.—The Two Rivers Arts Council will present “Lady Sings the Blues” featuring  B.J. Reed on Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Lady Sings the Blues is a night of jazz, rhythm, and blues. B.J. Reed evokes the sounds of Dinah Washington, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday as well as other selections from jazz greats. Her band includes drummer Latrisha Redmon, keyboardist David Talley IV, bass player Kenneth Olive, and saxophonist Charles Cooper.

Reed has traveled throughout the United States performing soul-stirring renditions of some of America’s best-loved recordings.  Included in her travels are Las Vegas, NV where she sang at several area lounges on the Las Vegas strip; Harlem, NY where she performed at the Apollo Theater live on “Showtime At The Apollo” (1991); Washington, DC on Capitol Hill (1997) where she sang at the birthday celebration of Senator Ted Kennedy; Houston, TX for the wedding of former LA Lakers player, Robert Horry (1999); and Savanna, GA where she was a quarter finalist in the International American Traditions Competition during the “Savannah On Stage Arts Festival” (2002). BJ was the winner of the Pride Talent Search as the “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 1990, 1995 and 1998.  Her professional debut was launched in 1999 and held at the gorgeous Bama Theater attended by hundreds of enthusiastic supporters.

Although gospel is her first love, Reed performs jazz, R&B and other genres of music in collaboration with a variety of local and national musicians. She studied voice at Stillman College under the direction of Dr. James A. Williams in 1976-78.  She attended Nancy Bounds Modeling and Finishing School in Omaha, NE in 1989.  Reed returned to Stillman in 2000 and graduated with honors in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Today, Brenda continues to entertain at a variety of events and works devoutly to inspire the youth as a vocal instructor for the Alabama Blues Project.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Admission is free for arts council members. For more information contact Morgan Allen at 334.289.1595 or visit www.brendabjreed.com

Two Rivers Arts Council to host Don Irwin concert

The Two Rivers Arts Council will present pianist Don Irwin in concert on Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m. at the Demopolis High School Auditorium.

Don Irwin continues to thrill music connoisseurs across the United States with his unique and innovative one man show. Irwin’s passionate show stopping musical prowess creates an atmosphere that is both warm and invigorating; leaving audiences spellbound and overjoyed. While playing, the artist communicates the sentiments of his heart and soul, touching the spirit of the listener and causing them to experience an array of emotions. Few musicians are able to make such a connection.

As a classically trained musician, Don Irwin surprises many with his very versatile non-classical repertoire. He studied Piano Performance and received a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Illinois. His expansive musical styling allowed him to work as a recording studio musician for artists such as Prince, Donna Summer, and many others.

During the 90s, he signed a three-year recording contract with South Africa Transistor Records, to produce an album for the European and African markets. The overwhelming success of that album led to guest performances at the Cannes Music Festival, appearances on MTV Europe and MTV Africa, and two music videos for the government of South Africa. At the request of the South African government, he toured many schools throughout South Africa and Zimbabwe giving concerts at various schools to expose students to different musical styles ranging from classical to original compositions. This experience was the impetus for the Caravaggio Foundation that Don Irwin founded to provide music education scholarships.

In the mid 90’s Irwin was asked to give personal appearances at Bloomingdale flagship store in New York City and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. This launched a highly successful annual fall concert featuring Don Irwin on piano at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, which continues today.

Don Irwin’s works have become known around the world. His music is uniquely fused with varying blends and textures acquired through his travels and experiences in diverse world cultures. His beautiful melodies, sweeping ranges, unique sounds, and exotic rhythms are intertwined to form what has become the Don Irwin signature.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 and are free for Two Rivers Arts Council members. For more information, contact Morgan at 334-289-1595.