Music event combines education and entertainment
Story by Lindsay Dyess
To Bruce Andrews, the blues have always held a special place in his life. His passion for art and music extend far past his position of executive director of the Shelby County Arts Council.
When Andrews isn’t busy with his director duties, he sings and plays harmonica in local band 2 Blu and the Lucky Stiffs. For several years, 2 Blu has performed in the area at local venues and musical festivals. This month, they are preparing for a very special musical event at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.
When ArtPlay, the education and outreach initiative of the Alys Stephens Center, reached out to 2 Blu to perform, they knew they couldn’t turn down this exciting opportunity.
“ArtPlay is a really visionary non-profit creating unique performing arts opportunities that are easily accessible,” Andrews says. “Bandmate George Dudley and I met at ArtPlay when director Kimberly Kirklin hired us to teach a Roots Music/Harmonica class at the ArtPlay home in Birmingham. The class went so well that she came up with an opportunity for us to expand the concept with this upcoming show: a show that will have some educational elements but also be absolutely entertaining. We are honored and pleased to collaborate with ArtPlay, and we are excited to play the Jemison Theater at Alys Stephen — a really fine venue.”
On May 7, ArtPlay is proud to present Roots Music: An Introduction to Blues. This interactive music experience is an opportunity for the whole family to learn about the American Blues Tradition together. This performance will feature the music of legends such as Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry and many others. The performance will be May 7 at 2 p.m. at the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for children.
This performance is a perfect and inexpensive way for the whole family to spend an afternoon together. The Shelby County Arts Council has even arranged bus transportation opportunity to the show to make sure everyone can enjoy the show. 2 Blu is also playing a special sensory performance of Roots Music specifically for special needs children and adults on May 6 at 10 a.m.
This special performance is a great way for families to get up close and personal with the musicians. For more information on this event and to purchase tickets, please 669-0044 or visit Shelbycountyartscouncil.com or Alysstephens.org/roots-music.
If you are looking for other exciting family-friendly events happening in May, be sure to check out Jazz in the Park on May 1 from 4 to 9 p.m. in Alabaster behind the Alabaster Municipal Buildings. This free event showcases nationally recognized Jazz recording artists and is perfect for all ages to enjoy.
Also, be sure to attend the Art Abilities Showcase on May 22 at Thompson High School. This gallery exhibit features the artwork of local special needs students.