The Lower Town Neighborhood Association of Paducah will produce this year’s Arts and Music Festival on May 20, 21 and 22. This year’s theme, “Remarkable Art from People You Know,” will include over 100 participants from a region of up to 350 miles away.
"The 2011 festival is going to be even better than last year, with many more artists on the street, more musical performances, and lots of arts demonstrations, said Stefanie Graves, co-chairman of the event. “Last year's festival attendance moved it into one f Paducah's top events of the year, and we're looking forward to surpassing that benchmark, making the Lower Town Arts & Music Festival a ‘must see’ for everyone."
With a 50 percent increase in the number of artists participating, people who attend will find even more of a selection of hand-crafted jewelry, paintings, prints, ceramics, nd glass, said Michael Terra, also co-chairman of the event.
“The Lower Town Neighborhood association will bring a stunning conspiracy of talent, energy and ingenuity to this year's Arts and Music Festival,” Terra said. “The wandering actors in full renaissance costume will be back with new plays to capture our imaginations. The Public Radio Station will have their very first live satellite broadcast from our main stage, and the Taste of Paducah will be astonishing.”
The chairmen say there will be “something for everyone,” including a children's tent, a “fun street,” a balcony theatre, wandering minstrels, and sidewalk chalk. (They noted that dogs are welcome, but must be muzzled and on a leash.)
“For three days we intend on enchanting you, delighting you, and making you proud, once again, that you call Paducah home,” Terra said.
The musical offerings have expanded this year, as well, with more than 40 performing artists and groups participating. Three stages will be set up again, with a Main Stage, Madison Stage, and Harrison Stage.
Marrakesh Express, a band dedicated to tributing Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, will be the headline musical feature at the 2011 Lower Town Arts and Music Festival. Marrakesh Express excels at reproducing CSNY's complex songs and cascading, layered harmonies, and takes the audience back to the late 1960s with youthful musicians who bring an authentic hippie vibe and visual to the stage.
Darlene Dreyer, the Executive Director of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, is coordinating the music for the Festival in collaboration with the Performer Selection Committee. She said Marrakesh Express will give a vivid and realistic performance of CSNY’s most recognizable songs. Featuring four harmonizing vocalists backed by a top-flight band, they deliver a unique and energetic concert performing the classic CSNY hits, deep cuts, and fan favorites.
Marrakesh Express has played to thousands of fans including the headlining slot at the Woodstock 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert in 2009. They’ll perform on the main stage of the Festival at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.
Following the headliner, Saturday evening will feature a laser light show with Tupelo, MS, based “The Robo Drum.”
Friday night begins with hometown heroes: Adam and the H-Bombs (a rock and blues trio featuring Paducahans Adam Horbovetz, Keith Culp, and Erik Eicholtz), Lew Jetton and 61 South, followed by headliner Brian Lavender and Whiskey Bent.
Bawn in the Mash, a professional touring band from Paducah, will appear again this year as the opening live performance on Saturday afternoon, following the live broadcast of Music from the Front Porch by local NPR affiliate WKMS. This rock group’s four studio albums are played on radio stations worldwide.
Dennis Scott will give a series of special children’s concert segments on Saturday afternoon. Scott is a two-time Grammy and Emmy award winning performer whose songs have been recorded by such artists as Faith Hill, Alison Kraus, Sugarland, Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, Donna Summer, Ray Charles, The Muppets, and many others. His music has been featured on shows such as Sesame Street, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Magic School Bus.
Dom Wier is an Americana/Roots Rock/Country styled songwriter artist based in Nashville, TN. He released his first solo album in 2008 entitled "No Boundaries". His second album, "Jaded Dreamer," was recorded in 2009 at world renowned Soundstage Studios in Nashville, TN, and was co-produced by Nick Autry who has worked with Buddy Guy among many other world class artists. Scott has been touring the United States for over three years, and is in the process of making a new record due out this year.
Other key performances will include the Dean Martinis, the McKendrees, Abby Burke & the Soul Catchers, the Coco Yam Band, and The Great Gatsby Jazz Funk Odyssey.
Artists will be featured from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 20. On Saturday, performances will continue from the Festival opening at 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Sunday’s music will kick off at 12 p.m. and last until the Festival closes at 5 p.m.
The Lower Town Arts & Music Festival is a production of the Lower Town Neighborhood Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Historic Lower Town District of Paducah. This is its second year producing the festival that generated attendance of over 13,000 people last year. More information about the artists and festival activities may be found on the festival website at www.lowertownamf.com.