In 1967, Stax Records sent its top artists on a first-ever tour of Europe, now known as the legendary 1967 Stax/Volt European Tour.
Now, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that milestone event that catapulted Stax into the international limelight, the Stax Music Academy (SMA) has been invited to follow in their footsteps with its first-ever tour of France and England.
SMA has created a special concert show to celebrate the 1967 tour with soul stirring tunes originally performed and recorded by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley, Booker T. & the MGs, and others.
Tour dates: July 2017
9th Manchester: Band on the Wall
11th Cahors, France: Cahors Blues Festival (France’s oldest running Blues Festival)
13th Bordeaux, France: Relâche Music Festival
15th London: Kings Place
16th Hitchin, UK: Hitchin Town Hall (SOULD OUT)
17th Bristol: Rivertown at Colston Hall
18th Milton Keynes: The Stables
21st and 22nd Gateshead: SummerTyne Festival
Plans are also in the works for youth cultural exchanges, educational opportunities, sightseeing, and more, including an opening reception for a July 19th Stax Music Academy/Memphis photography exhibit at London’s Leica Camera Gallery by renowned photographer Simon Emmett, who spent part of May 2016 photographing the students in Memphis.
SMA will be opening for Stax legend Mavis Staples in Bristol, UK and for Stax legend William Bell at the Gateshead Summertyne Festival in Newcastle/Gateshead, UK. Preparations for the trip have included a master class with yet another Stax legend, Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the MGs, who was on the original 1967 tour.
While SMA has performed internationally in Italy, Australia, and Berlin, this commemorative tour of France, Ireland, and England will play to audiences who are lifelong Stax Records fans but don’t know about how the Soulsville Foundation is carrying the legacy of Stax Records into the future through these underserved young people. It is the only school in the world teaching young people the art form of American soul music and “The Memphis Sound” that was created in Memphis during the 1960s and 1970s, which is a worldwide phenomenon.
The majority of the Stax Music Academy students attend via financial need-based scholarships the Soulsville Foundation provides. For many, this represents the first opportunity to travel beyond Memphis. SMA travel experiences have proven to have significant impact on the students’ desire to succeed in life, to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem, and to make them think more globally about their lives.
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