Eric Essix performing Evolution

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Featuring 5 Men On A Stool and vocalist Tracy Hamlin

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist church bombing, UAB's Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center is developing and producing community events and performances the week of September 15, 2013, to engage the community through the healing power of the arts.

Evolution is the title of the landmark 20th CD by Eric Essix, which musically charts the spiritual growth and healing of Birmingham 50 years after the events that energized the Civil Rights Movement in 1963. The local native and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame member will debut Evolution as part of the Alys Stephens Center's September 2013 commemoration of those historic events – including the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church – which forever changed our nation. On this recording, Essix's guitar fronts contemporary jazz arrangements supported by traditional jazz instrumentation throughout most of the set. Along with six new compositions –all written by Essix – are covers of a handful of well-known songs by various popular artists. "With this project, I definitely wanted to, of course, acknowledge the past but also highlight the amazing progress we've made over the past 50 years," says Essix, who is also co-founder of the annual Preserve Jazz Festival in Hoover. "Birmingham is my home. I have seen the segregation of the past and the tremendous growth of this city first hand, and I'm proud of where we are today and of the strength and resolve of the people here." Joining Essix for this concert will be the dynamic ensemble 5 Men on a Stool and vocalist Tracy Hamlin. You won't want to miss this evening of remembrance, celebration, and healing.


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More About The Artist

Who better to commemorate 1963 than Birmingham Native and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Essix. Essix will perform songs from his landmark 20th recording titled Evolution, a musical diary that examines the progress of Birmingham over the past 50 years and into the future. A guitarist with intimate personal, family, and community connections to the subject matter, Essix has produced and recorded songs that have a direct connection to the Civil Rights Movement for more than a decade:

2000 – For Four (An original composition dedicated to the girls who died in the bombing)
People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield)
2004 – Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round (march anthem)
2005 – Abide With Me (a ten-song collection of Negro spirituals and hymns)
2009 – We Shall Overcome and Shuttlesworth Drive (An original composition dedicated to the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth) on Essix's Birmingham album. The latter was a #1 contemporary jazz hit that stayed in the top 5 of the national jazz radio charts for more than 20 weeks.

When Essix is not on stage, he serves as artist coordinator at UAB's Alys Stephens Center and an instructor of jazz studies and music technology in UAB's Department of Music.

ArtPlay Meet the Artist School Show: Friday, September 20, 10am Jemison Concert Hall.



August 2015
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Saturday 8/15
Robert Randolph and the Family Band 08/15/2015
$, 20.00, 29.00, 30.80, 32.60, 38.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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They’ve rocked some of the biggest stages in the business. Finally, Robert Randolph & The Family Band are bringing
their intense, good-time funk, and brilliant pedal steel guitar playing to the ASC. » First, let’s talk guitar. Randolph’s
unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”
list. Rolling Stone called the group “one of the most intense live acts in all of jamdom,” making their appearance at the ASC one that should not be missed. Robert Randolph & The Family Band will be a show that will have you dancing in your seat!

B.B. King Tribute
Monday 8/17
B.B. King Tribute 08/17/2015
SHOW 7:00pm
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The ASC is honored to host a tribute to one of the greatest guitarists and musicians of all time as we pay homage to B.B. King. Over a dozen musicians from Birmingham and around the Southeast region are coming together for one night to honor the blues legend in this free concert. Join Elnora Spencer, Ona Watson, Chad Fisher, CeCe Phillips, Sean Michael Ray, PJ Spraggins, Joseph Stallworth, Joey Sommerville, Marc Phillips and GrooveDaddy, Microwave Dave, Norris Jones, Tim Boykin, and UAB's Artist-in-Residence, Eric Essix.

Rickie Lee Jones
Friday 8/21
Rickie Lee Jones 08/21/2015
$29.00, 39.00, 49.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Finally. Rickie Lee Jones is coming back to Birmingham! The ASC is thrilled to present the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter for an evening of musical reminiscing and exploration. Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1979 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums. A cultural phenomenon, she graced the cover of Rolling Stone twice in two years, and performed an unprecedented three songs during her second appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Her latest album and first new music in over a decade, The Other Side of Desire was written, recorded, and rooted in New Orleans.

Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band
Thursday 9/03
Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band 09/03/2015
SHOW 7:00pm
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Hosted by UAB Artist-in-Residence Eric Essix, The Essentials is the ASC’s innovative series devoted to honoring the rich history of jazz. The fourth installment will explore the complex, multinational musical fusion known as Latin jazz. » The evening begins with a survey of the history of Latin jazz, the music, and the artists — led by Essix and legendary percussionist Poncho Sanchez. » The second set features Grammy-winner Sanchez with his fragments of Latin jazz, swing, bebop, salsa, and other infectious grooves colliding and churning in a fiery swirl with dazzling results.

The Indigo Girls
Wednesday 9/23
The Indigo Girls 09/23/2015
$45.50, 55.50, 63.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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If you were in college during the 1980s, you probably saw the Indigo Girls in some small, smoke-filled basement pub and were convinced you’d stumbled into folk duet heaven. More than 30 years later, those two Georgia ladies with their husky voices and intimate, poignant lyrics are still going strong. While most artists who launched their careers in the 1980s have slipped from our collective memory, the Indigo Girls are still writing and recording, championing a number of social and environmental causes, and filling halls with devoted, multi-generational audiences.

Gleb Ivanov
Friday 9/25
Gleb Ivanov 09/25/2015
$, 20.00, 28.63, 30.40, 32.18, 37.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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The ASC is proud to treat our patrons to Gleb Ivanov, an internationally accomplished young pianist The New York Times said “is a cut above the usual, a young super-virtuoso, with musical sensitivity and an appreciation of style to go with the thunder and lightning.” As a young man in Russia, Ivanov was a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich, appearing as soloist under the famous maestro with the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic.