Blues and Reggae: First Friday Features Ron Jones and Corey Harris
Storyteller and musician Ron Jones and musician Corey Harris take the stage for First Friday in downtown Southern Pines.
Jones kicks off the evening at 5 p.m. as part of the Southern Pines Public Library's summer reading program
Jones has performed in schools, libraries, museums, and at festivals throughout the Southeast and in Canada and Mexico. He tells traditional and contemporary folktales as well as bilingual stories, and he often involves the audience in participation stories and sing-a-longs.
"I believe strongly in the rich oral tradition of storytelling and the common experience it brings to us all," says Jones.
Registration for Southern Pines Public Library's Summer Reading Program has already begun. Kids in grades K-4 are invited to "Be Creative @ Your Library!" Middle school students (rising fifth- through eighth-graders) are encouraged to "Express Yourself @ Your Library!"
For more information about the summer reading program, call 692-8235 or visit www.sppl.net.
Blues and Reggae
Corey Harris, who was born in Colorado, is a blues and reggae musician now residing in Virginia. He plays classic African-influenced music.
Harris has toured extensively throughout Europe, Canada, West Africa, Japan and Australia. He is known for his solo acoustic work as well as his electric band.
"Discovered" by writer and producer, Larry Hoffman at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Ga., he's played genres ranging from funk to R&B, roots, reggae and hip-hop.
Harris' all-inclusive approach to songcraft is nothing less than a way of life.
"A lot of the walls that we put up between one another -- we're conditioned to do that," he says. "It's in the media and in our education for us to look at all the differences and then conclude that there are these huge walls between us. But I really feel that as humans we all have one soul. We got one heart. We got one blood. As the world's getting smaller, we've really got to learn about each other, and part of that is knowing where you're coming form. So I think that by trying to figure out what's inside of me musically and the heritage that I've got, that I can better live with others."
In 2003, Harris appeared in the Martin Scorsese documentary, "Feel Like Going Home," an installment in the blues series that aired on PBS. In the film, Harris explores African-American blues on a journey that begins in the Mississippi Delta and eventually takes him to Mali, where he discovers still more layers of African music to add to his repertoire.
Harris was first introduced to the blues by his mother, who played Lightnin' Hopkins records for him. He learned to play various brass instruments in high school, then after attending Bates College in Maine and further cultivating a love for acoustic blues, moved to Cameroon in West Africa for a while, and absorbed African polyrhythms.
Returning to the U.S. to a teaching job in rural Louisiana, Harris gravitated to the New Orleans music scene, and among other things, moonlighted as a street musician where he began to be noticed, was soon playing in clubs, and eventually went into the studio and released his debut album in 1995, which quickly won rave reviews.
The event is scheduled to end at 8 p.m.
"First Friday" is a free monthly community nonprofit event, for people of all ages in the Southern Pines area.
Food and beverages are available at this family-friendly event.
For more information about First Friday, feel free to visit www.firstfridaysouthernpines.com
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