The VIPP Report: Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville and the influences that still resonate in the consciousness of the community

It’s a tradition that many automatically put on their calendars from year to year because when you attend the celebration hosted by Legacies Unlimited Inc. you walk away realizing that so many that grew up in this community made history in so many ways especially in the entertainment industry.  On January 25th & 26th, they will be remembered and celebrated for their outstanding accomplishments. It’s all about Celebrating the Legacy of Black LouisvilleIt will be held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) located at 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd.

This event pays tribute to the achievements and contributions that Louisville’s African American citizens have made to Louisville, the nation and the world.

The program will consist of exhibits, workshops and two performance events.  It’s the JAZZ AT THE TOP HAT. A re-imagined night out at the Top Hat Club, Black Louisville’s most famous entertainment spot during the glory days of the 1940’s and 50’s.  This event will present jazz vocalist, Bobby J and will feature International flutist and Jazz historian Galen Abdur Razzo.                                                                                        

 The second event is The Walnut Street Revue, a live stage show reminiscent of the “chitlin circuit” performances that played in venues on Walnut Street, now Muhammad Ali Blvd., in the 1940’s & 50’ when Walnut Street was in vogue.  The revue will be hosted by WLKY’s Ann Bowdan. The evening will be filled with great music presented The Jerry Tolson Jazz Group with vocalists Alisia and Karen Chavez.

A special tribute will be paid to the late Foree Wells, a Louisville musician who played with some of the greatest blues performers in the business, which included —music legend the late B.B. King.  Wells, also founded the Walnut Street Blues Band which included his two sons and a daughter in law. The Walnut Street Rhythm & Blues Band will be in attendance that evening and will perform a special tribute in memory of their beloved father, Foree Wells.

The Opening Ceremony will take place from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm on Friday, January 25th followed by an unveiling of the exhibits.  The exhibits included in this year’s program include the following:   Two Centuries of Black Louisville …the Exhibit – A permanent exhibit of photographs from the book Two Centuries of Black Louisville —A Photographic History; Textile Designs by Louisville’s “Bag Lady” – Zephyr May Miller; and The Works of Louisville Folk Artist, Marvin Finn plus much more. 

There will be two workshops held on Saturday, January 26th.  The first one, The Legacy of Central High School from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. It’s an investigative look at the historical significance and impact that Central had on its students and the community as well. Come learn about the legacy that this educational institution created over the years through the lens of Dr. Larry Wilkins Doyle, a 1968 CHS graduate whose did his doctoral studies on the historic school.  The second workshop will be The Listening Room Workshop. It will present recordings of Louisville’s African American entertainers & musicians of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. These selections will be provided by the Soulful Sounds of Derbytown and presented by Ron Lewis of Mr. Wonderful Productions.

Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville is presented by Legacies Unlimited in partnership with the KCAAH and the University of Louisville Archives & Special Collections. It is made possible through support from the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, WLKY-TV and George & Mary Lee Fischer.

Tickets for the both JAZZ AT THE TOP HAT and WALNUT STREET REVUE are available at Better Days Records in Lyles Mall or at 1765 Bardstown Road AND JAMBUSTERS BALLOONS & MORE at Popular Level Road. For ticket information call (502) 456-2394.

To set-up an interview, please contact Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com.  If you have an entertainment/community calendar, we are requesting that you post and/or announce. 

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The VIPP Report: Tribute event announced to honor jazz great and Louisville native Lionel Hampton

 LincolnFoundation

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Lincoln Foundation in partnership with Dick Sisto, Ken Clay, Owsley Brown III, Louisville Public Media, Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, The Kentucky Center, Mike Balter Mallets and Vandoren Saxophone Reeds proudly announces the First, Annual Lionel Hampton Tribute Concert Showcase. The event will take place in the Bomhard Theater of the Kentucky Center on Saturday Oct. 7.

Dick Sisto, on vibraphone, is the artistic and music director who will lead a group of featured jazz artists who will pay tribute to jazz greats past and present.  They include Barry Ries, trumpet (Lionel Hampton); Bobby Broom, guitar (Sonny Rollins); Bobby Floyd, keyboards (Count Basie); Jim Anderson, bass (Benny Golson); Art Gore, drums (George Benson) and special guest Harry Skoler, clarinet (Berklee College of Music).

Louisville native Lionel Hampton was born on April 20, 1908. He popularized the vibraphone and played with the Benny Goodman Quartet before becoming a successful bandleader. Hampton received honors from Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He performed well into his 90s before passing away in 2002.

Mayor Greg Fischer and the city of Louisville have embraced this event and hope to honor this hometown jazz great and innovator with an official Lionel Hampton dedication day. The event will also feature a showcase of young percussion students on the vibraphone and drums.  A music scholarship will be considered for one of the participating youth.

Schedule and ticket information for the Lionel Hampton Tribute Concert Showcase will be announced later this summer. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lincoln Foundation’s signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.

Lincoln Foundation has empowered disadvantaged youth to overcome adversity through education since its inception by Berea College over 100 years ago. The mission of the organization is to provide educational enrichment programs that develop and support youth in overcoming barriers to achievement. Lincoln Foundation outcomes demonstrate that students can break the cycle of poverty in their families through higher education. Students are holistically developed in an educational culture that stresses academic achievement and graduation from college.  Lincoln Foundation annually serves approximately 600 students from two years of age through college with its year-round, nontraditional educational enrichment programs.

For additional information, please contact Paula Campbell at 502.585.4733 ext. 203 or Sherlene Shanklin at 502-295-0435 or sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.  Please visit our website at www.lincolnfdn.org.