MEMPHO Music Festival will honor Steve Cropper and Booker T Jones’s legendary influence on Stax Records and Memphis music with a special tribute on October 7, 2017. Booker T Presents: A Stax Revue & Journey Through Soul, Blues, and R&B will perform the main stage, followed by an all-star performance from Steve Cropper & Friends. The back-to-back sets will serve as a continuous tribute to Memphis’s roots in music, as led by the legends themselves.
“I’m humbled to play a small part of such a momentous occasion,” says Diego Winegardner, Founder and CEO of Big River Presents, the promoter behind MEMPHO. “The impact of Stax Records on American music is immeasurable, while Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones are nothing short of national treasures. It’s an absolute honor to bring these two giants back to the forefront of our collective consciousness for the launch of the inaugural MEMPHO Music Festival.”
Booker T. Jones — a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and four-time GRAMMY Award-inner — will present Booker T.’s Star Revue, a presentation of Booker T.’s hits with the MG’s. The Stax Revue will feature a ten-piece big band with three lead vocalists, a three-piece horn section and Booker’s usual rhythm section. The set will deliver a high energy experience curated to take the audience on a boundary-pushing musical journey of Stax Records through Booker’s eyes.
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Songwriter Hall of Famer Steve Cropper — the “World’s Greatest Living Guitarist” — will follow the Stax Revue with an all-star tribute to Memphis music. “Being honored anywhere is a great thing but, being honored in Memphis is very special, says Cropper. “So many STAX alumni will be there to enjoy it so it will make it even more memorable.”
Cropper has tapped an eclectic mix of artists, either local to Memphis or connected to the music, including: Dave Mason (Traffic), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers, Dead & Company), John Popper (Blues Traveler), Eddie Floyd (wrote “Knock on Wood” with Cropper), as well as legendary keyboardist Lester Snell (Isaac Hayes, Shaft, B3 organ), drummer and cousin to Al Jackson, Steve Potts, trombonist Victor Sawyer, and tenor sax player Jim Spake.
Current list of artists set to perform tribute: Booker T. (Stax, Booker T. & The MG’s) Dave Mason (Traffic, The Reels) Eddie Floyd (The Blues Brothers) Lester Snell – Keyboards (MD) (Memphis session player) Jim Spake – Sax (staple Memphis session player) John Popper (Blues Traveler) Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers, Dead & Co) Steve Cropper (Stax, Booker T. & The MG’s, The Blues Brothers) Steve Potts – Drums (Booker T. & the MG’s) Victor Sawyer- Trombone (Stax Music Academy)
The inaugural MEMPHO Music Festival takes place Oct. 6-7 at the 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, just minutes from Downtown Memphis. This year’s lineup includes Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Cage the Elephant, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Hard Working Americans, Southern Avenue and more. Tickets — including single-day and two-day general admission and VIP passes — are on sale now at memphofest.com.