the grammy museum and the new school present special concert on january 23, 2018

The Concert Will Feature Musical Legends William Bell, Bobby Rush, and Students from The New School's College of Performing Arts and The Renaissance Youth Center


New York, January 10, 2018 - Four generations of musicians will come together for a one night only, special event during GRAMMYⓇ Week 2018. On Tuesday, January 23, at The New School’s John L. Tishman Auditorium, students and faculty from The New School’s College of Performing Arts with Renaissance Youth Center’s Music with a Message Band, will perform with legendary artists and GRAMMY Award Winners William Bell and Bobby Rush. The event is made possible through a special collaboration between four partners - Take Me To The River, The GRAMMY MuseumⓇ, The Renaissance Youth Center and The New School’s College of Performing Arts - and shows how cross- cultural and intergenerational collaborations in music positively impact our community.

Take Me To The River is an award-winning full-length documentary film directed by award-winning filmmaker and GRAMMY-nominated producer Martin Shore. The film celebrates the intergenerational, cross-cultural and gender inclusive musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation, and has been a catalyst for a global movement that has sparked community building through music by promoting tolerance and respect for all people and cultures. The film was an official selection at over 30 film festivals globally, the Audience Award Winner at the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Best Feature Film at the Raindance International Film Festival.

Keller Coker, Dean of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, says “Take Me To The River reminds us all of the profound musicians and musical cultures born and raised on the Mississippi River, and introduces them to the next generation of musicians in the best possible way. Most of the music we study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music has its roots in this inspiring music, so we couldn't be happier to be a part of this incredible event!"

"Take Me To The River’s mission has always been and will forever be education,” says Shore. “We are honored and proud to be partnering with The New School and the GRAMMY Museum to bring a fantastic and meaningful event during GRAMMY Week in such a musically important city as New York. It is essential for all generations to make a commitment to communicate and cooperate. It is then through strong collaborations that we can build lasting community.”

The day starts off at 4:00 p.m. with a screening and panel discussion moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Scott Goldman, who will be joined by Bell, Rush, Shore, Coker and former Stax Records owner Al Bell. The panel will discuss paths to social justice forged through the music of the Delta region. Additionally, never before seen footage from the upcoming film Take Me To The River: New Orleans will be debuted. The panel is free and open to the public.

At 7:00 p.m., GRAMMY Award winners featured in Take Me To The River, William Bell and Bobby Rush, will perform with students from The New School’s Soul Revue and The Renaissance Youth Center’s Music with a Message Band. Music will include Stax classics and New Orleans favorites. The concert is $5 for students and $20 for general admission. Proceeds from the concert will go to support educational initiatives for approximately 1,000 students at The New School's College of Performing Arts and Take Me To the River’s extensive network of students through their education initiative that served 26 public schools and community based music education organizations, like the Renaissance Youth Center, during their Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues Revue tour last fall.

Bervin Harris, President and CEO of Renaissance Youth Center and director of the Music with a Message Band, commented, “The band is excited and honored to be a part of this unique event. This concert not only bridges the gap between adults and youth, but also gives young students the chance to engage with a seasoned artist.”

Members of the media must RSVP with Will Wilbur.


The New School’s College of Performing Arts (CoPA), formed in the fall of 2015, brings together Mannes School of Music, the iconic 100-year-old conservatory; the legendary New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the innovative and ground-breaking School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of excellence, the College of Performing Arts creates opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovative education, and world-class performances. As part of the formation of The College, Mannes has moved into the newly renovated Arnhold Hall in Greenwich Village, a state-of-the-art facility designed especially for the performing arts. Also housed in Arnhold Hall are The School of Jazz and the School of Drama’s BFA program. As a part of The New School, students and faculty across the College of Performing Arts experience a supportive and rigorous environment with enhanced opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, to public policy and advocacy, and more. CoPA has over 900 degree and diploma seeking students, including a variety of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as an additional 400 pre-college students at Mannes Prep.

About Take Me To The River
The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a historic album. Take Me To The River features Terrence Howard, William Bell, Snoop Dogg, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush, Frayser Boy, The North Mississippi All-Stars and many more.

The Take Me To The River Education Initiative seeks to inspire a deeper understanding of history, culture, and the meaning of intergenerational and cross-cultural collaboration. The film is brought directly to schools with screenings, master classes and Q&A sessions, interacting directly with students, teachers and the community to bring history to life. The content is highly used on the Berklee PULSE Music Method that currently reaches 600 schools in New York City. Through their Education Initiative, Take Me To The River has held residencies at both the Los Angeles, CA and Cleveland, MS GRAMMY

The Take Me To The River Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues Revue kicks off its winter tour with this special event at The New School that will take them from Durham, NC to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The tour partners with the Education Initiative bringing the movement to communities and schools along the tour.

About The GRAMMY Museum Ⓡ
Established in 2008 as a partnership between the Recording Academy and AEG, the GRAMMY Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum explores and celebrates all aspects of the art form—from the technology of the recording process to the legends who've made lasting marks on our cultural identity. In 2017, the Museum integrated with its sister organization, the GRAMMY FoundationⓇ, to broaden the reach of its music education and preservation initiatives. As a unified organization, today, the GRAMMY Museum fulfills its mission of making music a valued and indelible part of our society through exhibits, education, grants, and public programming.

About Renaissance Youth Center
Our mission is to empower at-risk inner city youth to fully maximize their potential as productive and responsible members of society, by offering dynamic, team-building education, music, and sports programs, while instilling the importance of building strong communities. While our primary focus is teaching youth new skills, we also place strong emphasis in developing their social skills. We achieve this by mentoring youth, interacting with their families, getting involved in their educational goals, and engaging them in positive activities that support teamwork and community-building. What we envision is a chance for a better life for all youth, regardless of their socio-economic background or ethnicity. We recognize that all youth are not afforded the same opportunities. With this in mind, the concept behind all of our programming is to “level the playing field” for South Bronx youth by providing experiences geared  to help them navigate through their uncertainty towards a rewarding future. We are committed to being positive role models that guide youth in the right direction, giving them a degree of certainty and self- confidence that propels them to accomplish their goals.


79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School
212-229-5667 x 3990

Follow @TheNewSchool 

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