The Stax Music Academy Alumni Band will perform with United Kingdom (UK) star Beverley Knight of the upcoming London premiere of “Memphis The Musical” at B.B. King’s on Beale Street on Friday (June 20th)
The performance, which will be taped for “Memphis” promotions for UK, is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Tony Award-winning musical debuted on Broadway in 2009, with the London run beginning in October with Knight as the lead singer/actress. One of the UK’s most popular soul singers, Knight will film several promotional videos while in Memphis.
In addition to their schedule this year will be performing at area elderly care facilities, performances that will be booked by Memphis’ Creative Aging agency.
Formed last year as a way to offer summer jobs and bring unique entertainment to Memphis, the Stax Music Academy Alumni Band is a group of Stax Music Academy graduates who are in college but home on their summer break. The original band was made up of 10 students, but interest this year was even greater and that number has grown to 20 – enough for two different groups.
Both groups include some six vocalists, along with a rhythm section featuring keyboards, drums, guitar, bass and a horn section. Their repertoire of Stax hits and other soul music standards is billed as a highly charged, high-energy act designed to entertain and engage audiences of all kinds and all ages.
“This is (a) way to keep our former students in the Stax Music Academy family, provide them with paid summer employment, further hone their musical performance skills, and offer tourists and locals alike a unique music experience,” said Stax Music Academy artistic director Justin Merrick.
“Last summer this started out as something of an experiment and halfway into their summer shows, they were performing like the tight-knit cast of a Broadway musical.