The Wilson Music Library has completed the installation of five exhibits in Ingram Hall that complement the upcoming immersive concert, Voices of Mississippi, on September 15. Three exhibit cases feature a newly acquired archival collection of Otha Turner, a Mississippi fife musician. Turner was one of the last well-known fife players in the vanishing American fife and drum blues tradition.
The Otha Turner collection includes photos, writings, and recordings acquired through the Academic Archives Purchasing Fund, a collaboration with the National Museum of African American Music and Vanderbilt University. Alice Randall, writer in residence for African American and diaspora studies at Vanderbilt, was instrumental in acquiring this collection in collaboration with a Nashville attorney, Bill Ramsey, a personal friend of Otha Turner.
A fourth exhibit case features the Academic Archives Purchasing Fund, highlighting several of the archival collections that have been purchased thus far, including Yusef Lateef, Rissi Palmer, and Cecile McLorin Salvant.
The fifth and final exhibit case corresponds with the upcoming Voices of Mississippi concert, focusing on the Grammy-winning CD box set that features the work for Will Ferris, an audio recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and teacher who has spent a lifetime expanding and encouraging the study of the American South. Jason Schultz, librarian for African American & diaspora studies/history/Islamic studies, and Holling Smith-Borne, director of the Wilson Music Library, curated the exhibits which can be viewed during the Voices of Mississippi concert in the lobby of Ingram Hall.
The exhibit is in conjunction with the Wilson Library’s presentation of Voices of Mississippi, an immersive multimedia concert event on September 15 in Ingram Hall, featuring William Ferris, Bobby Rush, Sharde Thomas, and Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. Tickets are available now at http://vu.edu/vom.
This project is presented by the Vanderbilt Arts, Discovery, and Innovation Fund; and Neal & Harwell, Attorneys at Law.