Delta-born blues music icon B.B. King kicks off the 2011-12 Mississippi State University Lyceum Series season with an Oct. 11 concert.
Taking place throughout the fall and spring semesters, the season also features the Carolina Chocolate Drops, TALK Dance Company, The Acting Company”s performance of “Julius Caesar,” and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
Season-ticket renewal sales opened Friday and continue until July 29. New season-ticket holders may make purchases from Aug. 1-12. Individual tickets for each performance go on sale Aug. 22. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Bettersworth Auditorium of Lee Hall.
The inimitable Mr. King
For more than half a century, B.B. King has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since beginning a recording career in the 1940s, he has released more than 50 albums, many of them now regarded as classics.
A Sunflower County native, he is a member of the Blues Foundation and Rock and Roll halls of fame. In 1987, he received the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences” Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and is ranked third on Rolling Stone magazine”s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
Also on tap
The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Nov. 10 — Recent Grammy winner for Best Traditional Folk Album, the band formed after members Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson met at the 2005 Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, N.C.
All three trained in the Piedmont banjo and fiddle musical tradition under the tutelage of Joe Thompson.
While old-time Southern string music is often associated with Caucasian musicians from Appalachia, Giddens has observed that “it seems that two things get left out of the history books. One, that there was string band music in the Piedmont, period. (And that) black folk were such a huge part of string tradition.”
The TALK Dance Company, Jan. 24 — Known formerly as the At Marah Dance Theatre, the troupe was founded in 1996 in Philadelphia. Following the final season as AMDT in 2004, members began a three-year transition to incorporate as an arts nonprofit organization in Mississippi.
Today, they seek to bring an artistic voice culturally relevant to Mississippi, with performances offering creative and original works designed to inspire audiences.
The Acting Company”s “Julius Caesar,” Feb. 23 — Founded by the legendary John Houseman and Margot Harley in 1972, the New York City-based company works to promote theater and literacy through a touring repertory of classical productions.
Each year, the assemblage of talented young actors performs in more than 40 cities, while also reaching more than 25,000 students through an arts education program.
The St. Lawrence String Quartet, March 1 — Concluding the 2011-12 Lyceum Series, the St. Lawrence String Quartet is considered among the top chamber ensembles of its generation. Since winning both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1992, the quartet has delighted audiences with its spontaneous, passionate, and dynamic performances.
Reserved-seating season admissions are $120 each, plus a service fee, and include all five programs. Discounts are available for MSU employees and senior citizens.
Season tickets may be purchased at the Campus Activities Office in Suite 300 of the Colvard Student Union, or by calling 662-325-2930. Individual tickets may be purchased at lyceum.msstate.edu.
Except for the B.B. King concert, free MSU student tickets will be available prior to each performance.
For more information on the Lyceum Series season, visit lyceum.msstate.edu or contact the Campus Activities Office at the number above.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.