OXFORD, Miss. – The fifth annual Oxford Blues Festival will take place July 17-19 on the lawn of the Walton-Young Historic House, which is adjacent to the University of Mississippi Museum. The museum will host a VIP reception Thursday night and several panel discussions on Friday.
“The museum is exceptionally pleased to continue our partnership with the Oxford Blues Festival, an annual event that enlivens our outdoor landscape and provides additional great content in its educational sessions,” said Robert Saarnio, University Museum director. “Occurring this year in conjunction with our primary summer exhibition, ‘Blues @ Home, Mississippi’s Living Blues Legends,’ the 2014 festival makes it a wonderful ‘summer of the blues’ here at the museum.”
The Jeff Jensen Band will kick off the festival with a performance Thursday at 7:15 p.m. The VIP Meet ’n’ Greet just prior to the performance will allow ticket holders to visit with the band while enjoying food inspired by blues music.
The mission of the Oxford Blues Festival is to preserve, protect and promote blues music and culture. The festival offers education, community events and workshops throughout the year, culminating with the production of an outdoor festival uniting a diverse citizenry in a celebration of American blues-based music.
“North Mississippi has a really rich blues heritage, but it doesn’t get as much attention as Chicago or the Mississippi Delta,” festival director Darryl Parker said. “This festival is a great way to bring attention to the North Mississippi music scene. Good music, fun with family and friends. It’s a reason to celebrate.”
Panel discussions featuring Mississippi blues visual artists, scholars and musicians will take place inside the University Museum, Friday, July 18, from noon until 3:30 p.m. DeWayne Moore, UM doctoral candidate in history, will moderate the panel discussions.
Festival ticket holders will have free access to Mississippi artist H.C. Porter’s “Blues @ Home” exhibit on Friday and Saturday. “Blues @ Home” is a collection of 30 portraits of Mississippi living blues legends in their at-home settings. The paintings are paired with music and oral histories collected by project manager Lauchlin Fields.
Other artists featured in the blues festival include Eric Hughes, Big Joe Shelton, The Blues Doctors, Cadillac Funk, Libby Rae Watson, Silas Reed ’N’ Da Books, the Bluez Boys, Effie Burt, Zack Tilotson, Cameran Kimbrough and The Zediker Boys.
Passes for a single day or for the entire festival are on sale now. Ticket information is available on the festival website, including discounted tickets for early purchases. Children 12 and younger can enter free of charge with an adult. Coolers are allowed for a $5 fee, but glass is not allowed inside the venue. Food vendors will be on-site. For more information, contact Darryl Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the festival website.
The University Museum, which is celebrating 75 years of exhibitions and service to the community, is located at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. For more information, visit museum.olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7073.