Jews, Blues And All That Jazz Begins June 11 At The Jewish Cultural Center

  • Thursday, June 1, 2023

This summer the Jewish Cultural Center is exploring the relationships between Jews, Blues and All That Jazz through exhibitions, a CD release event, a film and concerts. The Jewish Federation is working in conjunction with Barking Legs and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Activities begin at the Jewish Cultural Center, 5461 North Terrace Road, on Sunday, June 11, at 2 p.m. There is no cost to attend the exhibition reception and CD release event.

The exhibit showcases large works by Tom Farnum. Growing up in Columbus, In., Mr. Farnam spent his early years in the 1950’s and 60’s observing and drawing from nature. Mr. Farnam studied printmaking at Indiana University and East Texas State University, where he received his BFA and MFA respectively. His natural inclination towards process, discipline, and technique made printmaking a natural medium for Mr. Farnam. His exploration of printmaking not only encouraged, but required him to leave things to chance and explore “mistakes”. This experimental methodology remains critical to Mr. Farnam’s aesthetic throughout his work. Transitioning into painting was an organic choice as Mr. Farnam left the academic environment and printing presses essential to printmaking. For the past four decades, he has continued to build on the basic influences that fueled his passion for making art.

Small works by Sandra Babb, Anna Boothe, Harriet Goren, Lupina Haney, Maxine Hess, Michael Holsomback, Sherry Hullender, Faye Ives, Janice Kennedy, Cindy Lutz Kornet, Bonnie Stoloff compliment the large pieces. Art works by these artists were selected for their relationship to the theme. Fiber, glass, painting are represented.

A special event during the June 11 reception begins 3 p.m. deaconbluz, aka Dr. Clark White, will release his latest CD. CDs are for sale. The six originals songs were written and composed by deaconbluz a/k/a Dr. Clark White. They tell stories about his deep attachment to Chattanooga’s history. Dr. White will play and talk about these songs and what inspired him to compose the music and lyrics. One song is “The Ballad of Ed Johnson,” the innocent black man lynched on the Walnut Street Bridge in 1906. Dr. White’s album was recorded in 2019 at the Baton Rouge, La. studio of famous blues artist Kenny Neal.

The summer continues with a screening of The Jews and The Blues at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center (200 East M L King Blvd.) on Sunday, July 9, at 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend. The film is 67 minutes, in English, and is a musical journey. The documentary filmmaker Drew Stone, follows his passion for music and adventure as he travels to Israel and discovers how the blues ties into this incredible mix of cultures. Arab, Ethiopian, Moroccan, all Jewish, all Israeli, united through the universal tie that bids us together.... music.

Jazz concerts during the summer are in conjunction with Barking Legs’ (1307 Dodds Ave.) program Jazz in the Lounge on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. The cost is $5 for live music. The schedule includes: June 7 - Alan Wyatt Quartet * June 14 - Ben Friberg Trio * June 21 - The Ahleuchatistas (main stage) * June 28 - Dexter Bell & Friends * SPECIAL: June 23 - Aaron Irwin Trio (main stage) * July 5 - Alan Wyatt Quartet * July 12 - Mike Salter Quartet * July 19 - Dexter Bell & Friends * July 26 - Jim Crumble Trio * SPECIAL: July 9 - Monica Shriver (main stage)

The Jewish Cultural Center, funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, offers programs, classes and exhibits, social services, and a preschool—all rooted in Jewish values. The facility enables the Jewish community to raise its visibility, foster relationships, and strengthen its identity in the Chattanooga area. Located at 5461 North Terrace, the Center and its programs are open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation.

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