(CLARKSDALE, MS) – This weekend’s planned Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, may be on hiatus till next year due to Covid-19, but fans from around the world can now enjoy a daylong online celebration in its place. The first-ever Virtual Juke Joint Festival Celebration will stream online Saturday, April 18th, via www.LiveFromClarksdale.org from 12 noon – 9 pm CDT. It will be followed by the world-premiere of the new film Juke Joint Festival Revisited at 9 pm. The film was created by Grammy- and Emmy-award winning documentary filmmaker Ted Reed and shot at last year’s festival.
“Thanks to our
partners at Shared Experiences USA and Ted Reed Productions, we’ve assembled a
daylong celebration of our furloughed festival that everyone can enjoy
online,” said Nan Hughes, co-organizer of Juke Joint Festival. “With
the generous support of our amazing musicians, Visit Mississippi tourism, and
others, the Virtual Juke Joint Festival Celebration will be a free event.”
While the 9 hours of live-streamed blues and roots music are free, fans are encouraged to tip musicians through PayPal and Venmo. Tips will go directly to the musicians. The filmmakers also invite fans to consider a donation to the Blues Foundation’s Covid-19 Fund and the MS Blues Foundation’s Blues Musician Fund.
“Through the magic of
the world wide web, we’ll be streaming live performances from Clarksdale to
Columbia, from New Orleans to Nashville,” explained Roger Stolle, Juke
Joint Festival co-founder. “Confirmed acts include Reverend Peyton, Johnny
Rawls, Jimbo Mathus, Lucious Spiller, Grace Askew, Watermelon Slim and many more
who were originally booked to play this year’s Juke Joint Festival.”
The live-streamed portion
of the celebration will feature some 27 acts performing at home or in small,
no-audience venues thanks to event partner Colleen Buyers, founder of Shared
Experiences USA and Live From Clarksdale.
Virtual Juke Joint party, we’ll continue streaming music Live From
Clarksdale all 7 nights a week. During the pandemic, Shared Experiences is
coordinating and promoting daily live-streamed musical performances,” said
Buyers. “Prior to the crisis, Clarksdale already had 365 nights of live
blues. Now, musicians are playing ‘Live From Clarksdale’ to living rooms around
the world until the clubs can reopen and everyone can visit Clarksdale
With the support of Visit
Clarksdale, Visit Mississippi and the Clarksdale Chamber of Commerce, Live
From Clarksdale has just launched to stream daily live performances via its
centralized listing at www.LiveFromClarksdale.org. Now, even in the midst of
the health crisis, the blues can stay alive in the land where it was born.
Stolle reminds blues fans
and tourists to plan now for next year’s April 15-18, 2021, Juke Joint Festival
& Related Events in downtown Clarksdale — and to Visit Mississippi
in-person just as soon as the health crisis is over.