Jazzanooga announces “Live at the Bessie” series

Authored By seanphippster

Chattanooga’s local community jazz organization, Jazzanooga, has partnered with The Bessie Smith Cultural Center to offer event facility opportunities for arts organizations and community groups in the M.L. King corridor.

Several organizations-including Gig City Productions and Folk School of Chattanooga-have been invited to feature events at the center January to March.

Called “Live at the Bessie,” the series intends to support new community projects and emerging artists by offering a space to utilize for workshops, events and performances.

A Jazzanooga event space recently opened at 431 E. M.L. King Blvd. 

“We often hear that creative space is one of the most needed resources for individual artists and organizations working to develop and sustain their projects,” Shane Morrow, director of Jazzanooga, said in a news release. “We have experienced firsthand that, due to lack of space, it is difficult to showcase and expand programs and audiences.”

A few events have already been scheduled as a part of the collaboration. This Friday, Jazzanooga and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center present an evening of music, dance and celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The event-United in Freedom-will begin at 7 p.m with a $5 donation recommended to attend.

On Jan. 23, Gig City Productions presents Blues at the Bessie celebrating some of the area’s best blues musicians. Performers include Husky Burnette, Jon Harris Band and Marlow Drive. In addition, Drew Sterchi & Blues Tribe will perform a history of the blues. The all-ages show begins at 6 p.m. and the $20 ticket price includes barbecue and sweet tea for dinner. Click here for more information.

More events are expected to be announced soon.

“One of our primary goals for sustainability is to build deeper and expanded relationships within our community,” said Dionne Jennings, president of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. “Through this partnership with Jazzanooga, I do not have to carry the burden alone of creating culturally relevant arts programming that will appeal to all. “