The Berklee Mississippi Exchange Band headed to the Delta Blues Museum’s outdoor stage, ready for their first set of the day. It would be during the Juke Joint Festival debut by a Berklee group when the summer scholarship winner would be revealed. Both contenders, with family members and close friends were stage side, waiting, smiling politely, keeping cool. The two young women in all of their composure made an impression, and were an example to emulate when, suddenly, we realized that there were no drums or backline on stage.
Year three. The principal mission of the trip to the most Southern place on earth remains the same: finding two young musicians qualified for the Five-Week Summer Performance Program and awarding them full scholarships. What is new, is that now I have company down here. No longer is it just I, Allen Bush/Berklee PR guy/deep fan of Mississippi music and culture, but now a team of students, faculty and another administrator. Continue reading
I’m Allen Bush, director of Berklee’s public information office, and, at the moment, bridge-builder to Mississippi. I’m here in the Deep South this weekend to find teen musicians or singers and award them scholarships to Berklee’s five-week summer performance program. My partners will be the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, and the Robert Johnson Blues Museum, in Crystal Springs. Continue reading