CONTACT: Judy Peiser, Mark Hayden 901.525.3655


Memphis, TN. September 2-3, 2017.

The Center for Southern Folklore will transform downtown Memphis into a two - block celebration of music, arts, dance and foods at its annual Memphis Music & Heritage Festival Labor Day Weekend. The Festival runs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; September 2 and 3, on Main Street between Peabody Place and Union. There are four outside stages and two stages inside the Center for Southern Folklore at 123 and 119 S. Main Street. There will also be numerous craft, arts, and food stations throughout the festival.


The Festival is a celebration of what makes the Memphis Delta Region so special, says Center for Southern Folklore Executive Producer Judy Peiser.  This year marks our 31st Festival. The first was produced in 1982 on Mud Island. From 1988 to the present we have used Court Square Beale Street and Main Street as the festival backdrop. We have presented the Festival at the current location since 2000. The Festival reaffirms the abundance of musical talent and this region’s love of music. And whether it’s blues, rock and roll, jazz or latin sounds, this festival celebrates our musical roots in a special way.


Over 100 performers, dancers, craftspeople and cooks will perform everything from blues to jookin at the this year’s Festival.


This year the Festival is dedicated to the memory of Othar Turner, fife maker and performer. Mr. Turner was featured in the early 1970s in a documentary called Gravel Springs Fife and Drum. This year his grand-daughter Sharde Thomas will perform with her fife and drum band.


You can read Othar Turner's Wikipedia entry here, and check out the time he appeared on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood!"


This year’s festival poster depicts Othar Turner playing his fife. The poster was designed by Memphian Cotton Stevenson.

© 2016 by Center for Southern Folklore.

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