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Wednesday, September 17 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mississippi Rising: The Melting Pot of American Music

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Mississippi is the cradle from which many American music forms have grown to maturity and become an indelible part of the nation’s cultural identity. Beginning with the blues, the bedrock of nearly all American popular music, Mississippi has also provided the sounds and styles, the artists and history, behind numerous other music forms, including gospel, rhythm & blues, rock & roll, soul, country and even hip-hop. Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis

Presley, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King are just some of the American music legends that were born in Mississippi and began their careers there. This panel will explore the roots of these music forms and those artists and contextualize their place in the American music treasury. It will also look at how Mississippi continues to inform popular music and how the state has made its music legacy an important part of cultural tourism.


Bob Santelli

Executive Director, The GRAMMY Museum
ROBERT SANTELLI was named Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum in 2006. A noted blues and rock historian, Santelli is also the author of more than a dozen books on American music, including Greetings from E Street and The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, both New York Times bestsellers. Santelli contributed to Rolling Stone, and the New York Times, among other periodicals. In 1993, Santelli was one of the original curators of the Rock and Roll Hall of... Read More →


Scott Barretta

Producer, Shake Em On Down
SCOTT BARRETTA is a writer/researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail, the host of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting radio program Highway 61, and a sociology instructor(including a course on blues) at the University of Mississippi. He is the former editor of LivingBlues magazine, published by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the Universityof Mississippi, the coauthor of an 18-lesson blues curriculum published last year by the... Read More →

Holly George-Warren

HOLLY GEORGE-WARREN Two-time-GRAMMY-nominee Holly George-Warren is the author of more than a dozen books, including A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang), and Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry. Her writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, No Depression, the Oxford American, and many other publications. She is currently at work on a biography of... Read More →

Malcolm White

Director, Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Tourism Division
MALCOLM WHITE is the director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Tourism Division. In this role, he is responsible for the overall management of the division and the development and implementation of short- and longrange plans that will create economic growth and opportunities for Mississippi through tourism. A native of Stone County, MS, White holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of... Read More →

Cassandra Wilson

CASSANDRA WILSON is an American jazz musician, vocalist, and songwriter from Jackson, MS. Described by critic Gary Giddins as “a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack who has expanded the playing field” by incorporating country, blues and folk music into her work. She has received the Downbeat Readers and Critics awards for best jazz vocals numerous times. Wilson also performed one of the leading roles in Wynton... Read More →

Wednesday September 17, 2014 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Hillsboro - Hutton Hotel 1808 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203