African-American Music Appreciation month

BY FRANK DROUZAS Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — June is African-American Music Appreciation month and in celebration Studio@620 will present “Soul of America:  Musical and Literary Collaboration” June 27 and 28.

The event is the brainchild of Alex Harris, a recording artist, producer, songwriter and performer. He has topped the American Blues Network Charts with his hits “Hope For Us” and “Love Lines.” Harris approached Bob Devin Jones, co-founder of Studio@620, with the concept.

“Bob and I had been talking for some time about collaborating on a project,” Harris said.

He believes the event is unique in that it will feature not only an intimate evening of unplugged soul music, but readings of timeless literary works as well. Backed by a minimal band, Harris will sing the classic hits of legends like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Al Green, Ray Charles and also some of his own original songs.

“We’ll be doing a lot of the soul music that people love,” Harris said.

Jones will read selections from the renowned works of African-American authors including James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, Susan Lori Parks, Toni Morrison and Beery Gordy. The evening will alternate between musical performance and recitation, and Jones and Harris will provide some background on the writers and performers of the literary pieces and songs, Harris said.

“Not just a celebration of the music but also an integration of some of the literary art as well,” he attested, adding that all the enthusiasts of blues, soul, jazz and literary pieces should have a high appreciation of the event. “I think it’s a very informative event—it’s going to be fun!”

Admission is $25 and show times are June 27 at 7 p.m. and June 28 at 3 p.m.  A limited number of member tickets will be accepted and advance reservations are requested. Call (727) 895-6620 to RSVP and purchase tickets. Studio@620 is located at 620 First Ave. S.

To visit Alex Harris’s site, go to www.LXentertainment.com.

To reach Frank Drouzas, email fdrouzas@theweeklychallenger.com

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