For the fourth year in row, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is taking it to the streets with ArtsMemphis Presents Stax to the Max, the annual all-day, outdoor, free music and arts festival.
This year's event takes place Saturday (April 26th) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The rain date is Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The festival, held behind the Stax Museum, features all-day live music, arts performances, merchandise vendors, nonprofit booths, food trucks, children's activities, health screenings by University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and more. Last year's event drew approximately 8,000 attendees despite have been delayed a day due to inclement weather.
The festival was founded to engage the surrounding Soulsville, USA community and bring others from around the city and the world to the community. It will be a celebration of Memphis jazz, blues, R&B, and soul with acts, including Swing Time Explosion, Daddy Mack Blues Band, The Bo-Keys featuring John Nemeth and Percy Wiggins, Toni Green, and Stax Records legends William Bell, the Mad Lads, and the Temprees.
This year's special guest is Sam Moore of the soul royalty duo Sam & Dave, who will debut a new song, "They Killed a King," which was released April 4th, the 46th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis. Moore will perform with the Stax Music Academy.
Also of special interest is the long-awaited grand opening that day of the Memphis Slim's Collaboratory across College Street from the Stax Museum at the original site of the home of famed bluesman Memphis Slim. The public/private venture involves Memphis' Community LIFT, LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation (CDC), the University of Memphis' Memphis Music Magnate project, and other stakeholders.
The mission of Memphis Slim's Collaboratory is to artistically engage the community through resources in music, the related music industry, and other artistic endeavors. A number of elements will be incorporated into Memphis Slim's Collaboratory, but the focal point will be a state of the art recording studio and rehearsal space. The Collaboratory will be open for public tours throughout the day.
"One of the key reasons for the founding of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy was to help revitalize the Soulsville, USA community," said Tim Sampson, Stax Museum communications director. "So much has changed since the Soulsville Foundation began its work in 1998 that we hope everyone will come out to see this sheer vibrancy taking place."
Stax to the Max is sponsored by ArtsMemphis, The Commercial Appeal, and Clear Channel Radio Group Memphis.