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E-BRIEFS: Drop the Mic, Stax focus at Rhodes, 2014 Emissaries of Memphis Music

brief 600Young poets to compete for Drop the Mic Crown

The National Civil Rights Museum will host the Drop the Mic Poetry Slam competition at the Rumba Room at 333 S. Main Street on Saturday (Feb. 22nd).

The event – set to run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – is one of several that will celebrate the Museum's grand reopening. Youth and young adults (15-25) will articulate their views on freedom.

Poets will perform original pieces following the theme "My Freedom Is." Celebrity judges are Danny Simmons, co-producer of "Def Poetry Jam," along with Memphis natives Aisha Raison and multi-platinum hit-maker Drumma Boy.

"I'm always down for my city, especially when it comes to young people," said Drumma Boy. "These types of events are important because it gives young people a voice, just like hip hop."

Two grand prize winners, one in each category, will win a $1,000 cash prize, a museum membership and the opportunity to perform the winning piece on the main stage at the Museum's grand reopening on April 5, 2014. The second and third place winners in each category will win $750 and $500, respectively.

The list of special performing artists include Ekundayo Bandele (executive artistic director, Hattiloo Theatre), national recording artist Tonya Dyson, Phat Mack and Artistik Approach.

Stax Records focus of Rhodes series

As part of its "Memphis Centered" series, Rhodes College will present "Respect Yourself: A Celebration of Stax Records," featuring informal performances and discussions about the music and magic of Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s.

The March 6th event is free and begins at 6 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom of the Bryan Campus Life Center on the Rhodes campus. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m.

The event will be hosted by fRobert Gordon, acclaimed author and filmmaker, whose book "Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion" has earned national acclaim. Joining Gordon for the conversation are four legendary members of Stax's musical family: Bettye Crutcher, songwriter, producer and recording artist; Willie Hall, drummer and producer; Don Nix, guitarist, producer and recording artist; and Marvell Thomas, keyboardist and producer.

A book and CD signing will follow the event, which also is co-sponsored by Rhodes' Mike Curb Institute for Music. Those with specific inquiries can contact Dr. Charles Hughes of Rhodes' Memphis Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 901-843-3411.

2014 Emissaries of Memphis Music set for March 20th

The Memphis Music Commission's 2014 Emissaries of Memphis Music salute to Memphis Women in Music is set for March 20th at the Kroc Center at 800 East Parkway South.

Trailblazing sheroes who have made significant contributions to the Memphis Music culture will be honored! This year's event will celebrate the career achievements of Shontelle Norman, Pam Hetsel Parham, Trenyce, Vicki Loveland, Barbara Jackson Sago, Carla Thomas, Vaneese Thomas, Lahna Deering and Sharisse Norman. It also will feature performances by previous Emissary honorees, including Nancy Apple and Dani.

Proceeds will benefit the Memphis Musicians Healthcare Plan. General Admission: Tickets: $35; VIP seating: $50. Time: 7 p.m.

For more information call 901-576-6850; Visit www.memphismusic.org.

BRIEFLY: Bluff City Tri-Art Theatre Company will remount its eighth season play "Ventilations!" as a fundraiser for the Women's Theatre Festival of Memphis. The biennial 3-day event will run Aug. 7-9, 2014. The book, "Ventilations: Collections of a Certain Woman's Truths," was written by Memphis native, now Houston, Texas educator Samantha Brooks. It was adapted for the stage by Ruby O'Gray and is directed by Precious Morris. The play "Ventilations!" will run Saturdays, March 1, 8, at 7 p.m. and Sundays, March 2, 9, at 3 p.m. at TheatreWorks, 2085 Monroe Ave. All seats are $15. For reservations call 901-946-6140.

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