THE SONGSTER SERIES: Warner Williams with Jay Summerour
Creative Alliance presents a series of free public performances, The Songster Series, designed to reveal the hidden influences that have impacted celebrated regional musicians.
This series gets to the heart of who these musicians are, their musical influences, and how their sound evolved. Audiences have the opportunity to converse with each artist on a deeper level. These intimate, salon style performances take place in the Creative Alliance’s Marquee Lounge. Warner Williams kicks off the series on June 20th at 6:30pm, followed by Marc Evans on August 8th, and QueenEarth on September 5th. Expect more events programmed monthly throughout 2017.
All events are in the Creative Alliance Marquee Lounge and are free and open to all ages. The series is moderated by Brooks Long, a local musician and Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Fellow.
About Warner Williams
In 2011, Warner Williams received an NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the most prestigious award the United States bestows on traditional artists. He earned it after delighting audiences for 60 years in his hometown, Takoma Park, MD, and at national festivals.
Williams plays sets that jump from the blues standard “Key To The Highway” to the country classic “Your Cheating Heart” to the pop-soul chestnut “Bring It On Home To Me”. He comes from a long line of musicians, including his father who played the fiddle, and his mother who sang hymns. Having absorbed what he loves from the pop radio of his youth, Williams easily charms audiences with jazz, big band, and popular tunes. He is known as the last of the old songsters because of his diverse repertoire; however, Williams would rather be known as a “guitar man”.
On June 20th, Creative Alliance is happy to have Warner Williams kick off The Songster Series, a monthly salon-style event in the Marquee Lounge, featuring discussion and performance. Brooks Long begins the night with a brief history of the term songster and offers a fresh take on legendary musicians before turning it over to the night’s featured artist.
“I don’t know one good musician that is married to one style of music alone. But in public, we all have to streamline ourselves to grab attention,” says Brooks. “It wasn’t always that way. Before the record business really began to take over in the 1920s, there were people all over the south called songsters who played a diverse range of styles for diverse audiences. When I released my own collections, The Songster and The Songster Part 2, I wanted to bring historical context to songs I’d written that didn’t fit what I did on stage. The context of the old songsters is about nothing more or less than artistic freedom. It is that same spirit of freedom that I wish to bring to local musicians and local audiences through The Songster Series.”
Located in Highlandtown, Baltimore, MD, the Creative Alliance builds communities by bringing together artists and audiences from diverse backgrounds to experience spectacular arts and education programs and engage in the creative process. Creative Alliance provides support to area artists, promotes Baltimore as a center for creative production, acts as a positive force in our community, and advocates for cultural expression rooted in a sense of place.
The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation
The Songster Series is made possible through a fellowship grant from The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which “exists to promote innovation in science and technology, arts, education and social justice.”