Posts tagged with "gospel"

Shawn McKenzie CEO of spiritual word inside 360 Magazine

SPIRITUAL WORD

Spiritual Word is an Instagram platform at the intersection of Hip Hop and Christianity on Instagram boasting over 2.4 million followers

At the intersection of culture and Christianity is Spiritual Word (SW), a globally-recognized digital leader that bridges the gap between pop culture, black excellence and God’s word. The unique mission of the innovative company is to engage their readership multiple times daily on Instagram, where they live; posting content ranging from celebrity news to inspirational quotes rooted in biblical principles. Boasting over 2.4M followers with posts receiving 100k+ likes as well as garnering thousands of robust comments, SW has become the trusted go-to online destination for the millennial and gen z set.  

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, the burgeoning multi-media empire includes a presence on TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and a website that offers spiritually-themed apparel and merchandise. The unique and influential brand has solidified its positioning within the black community as a swift and reliable sourcing outlet that celebrates cultural nuances. As a result, SW is one of the most cited news sources dominating the internet. From reposts by celebrities, national news blogs and daytime tv talk shows, to reporting trending topics and curating viral video moments, the broad view of media and entertainment is what keeps viewers consistently tapped in. 

In between a relevant mix of must-click headline entertainment stories are uplifting messages designed to inspire and be a spiritual recharge for SW’s impressionable young audience. And based on the power of their diverse cult following, SW carries a tremendous monetary value and the market recognizes it. Individuals have successfully launched and boosted their careers using the marketing arm of SW. Companies have sold out of products and ticketed events within minutes of an announcement on their IG page. The platform has also been able to maximize its popularity by creating strategic partnerships with established brands that encompass music (Roc Nation, Quality Control Music, Capitol Records, Republic Records, LVRN, Motown, Sirius XM, Pandora); tv/film (Netflix); sports (NFL Super Bowl); festivals (One Music Fest, Broccoli Fest, The Strength of a Woman, Jazz In The Gardens, The Roots Picnic); fashion (God is Dope, FashionNova); and media (The Shade Room, Revolt). Additionally, SW has aligned their talents with industry figures such as Lil Kim, Tory Lanez, Justin & Christian Combs, Tiwa Savage, Muni Long, Lil Baby, Keke Palmer, Kash Doll and Diddy. SW continues to set the bar, having carved out a niche to positively impact lives and their bottom line utilizing social media. 

SW was founded in 2011 by Shawn McKenzie, a man with a heart for God and a head for business. Shawn graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Governing both his personal and professional life by the adage, “You’ve got what it takes,” a quote his mother prays over him daily, the young CEO takes pride in motivating people through spirituality while also remaining culturally relevant.

Trans woman, actress, entertainer, TV personality Monroe Alise shot Corey Fletcher speaks to Vaughn Lowery via 360 Magazine podcast

Monroe Alise

Listen to Monroe Alise’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE

Monroe Alise is an actress, LGBTQIA+ advocate, model and comedienne. As a transgender woman, she has fulfilled her childhood dream of working in the entertainment industry. Her philosophy on life is described in her mantra, “If you can’t laugh at life, you will never find a reason to live it.”

Born and raised in Washington DC, Monroe grew up passionate and inspired by media and entertainment. Her admiration for her father’s successful career as a DJ ignited her insatiable desire to entertain. Thus, she began singing in church, propelling her into the world of artistic expression. 

For Monroe, a great singer consists of emulating your favorite idols while taking advantage of the potential of one’s own voice. As a child, she recalls being compared to artists like John Legend and Luther Vandross because of her tonality and courage. Another favorite is Nina Simone, whom she references while belting evangelical hymns. 

As a youth, Monroe was a very active and social child. She studied sports public relations but fancied theatre. These disciplines were conducive to her discovery of sexuality. Further, she began to notice a direct correlation with her mother’s maternal responsibilites, rather than her father and two brother’s machismo profile. 

According to Monroe, “While they were playing games and sports, I was in the kitchen doing my mom’s hair.” In addition, her openly gay aunt was influential in her gender transformation due to her immense pride and confidence.

Monroe’s gender bender was painstakingly challenging but became easier over time. For instance, while preparing for an acting role as a Trans woman, she became comfortable in this new skin. After the audition, she gave herself permission to continue to live within this newfound reality.

A year later, Monroe made the decision to come out, “I was like, well this is who I am, so I socially reinvented myself and this is the girl you see.” Eventhough the transition embraced authenticity, it was extremely taxing on her family as well as father’s religious convictions.

Lacking legit representation and management, Monroe began to utilize social media to seek opportunities within the realms of fashion and Hollywood. As a thespian, Monroe became enthralled by the portrayal of becoming another homosepian while subsequently having an impact on the world. This year’s main objective is New York City’s Broadway. Her short-term is to star in a sci-fi like Star Trek or Star Wars as well as a fantasy film similar in type to Harry Potter and Twilight. Longterm, Monroe aspires to host a namesake talk show directed and produced by herself.

As an emerging Trans Community activist, Monroe is deeply concerned about the increasing rate of violence against her people. She hopes to alleviate the suffering of her collective, especially at the hands and ignorance of the narrow-minded. 

Monroe’s Five Principles:

1.) Adequate preparation;

2.) prevention of underachievement;

3.) working while you wait without worry;

4.) preparing for your mission;

5.) and continuing to work because you know you’ve been doing the best you could.

Credits:

Article: Andrea Esteban, McKinley Franklin, Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

Photo: Corey Fletcher

Resources:

Trans Lifeline

Human Rights Campaign

Follow Monroe Alise:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter YouTube | Spotify

Check out Monroe on the latest season of P-Valley on Starz.

Anne Wilson with 2 K-LOVE awards.

ANNE WILSON – MY JESUS

Capitol CMG artist and songwriter, Anne Wilson, has been taking the music world by storm with the release of her debut album, My Jesus, this Spring. This past Friday, June 3rd, Anne took home 2 K-LOVE Fan Awards – Female Artist of the Year and Breakout Single of the Year for her hit song, “My Jesus.”

“I grew up listening to Christian radio and K-LOVE, so winning a breakout single is just so surreal,” says Wilson. “I am so grateful for how Christian music impacts so many people for the Kingdom. So thankful. I am so undone by God’s faithfulness. Winning female artist of the year means so much to me. What an honor! So grateful.”

The K-LOVE Fan Awards is the home of the only fan-voted awards show in Christian entertainment. The Awards bring together the biggest names in Christain music, films, sports, books, and more, geared to create a fan experience that celebrates and promotes artists, athletes, authors, and entertainers with excellence that engage and impact popular culture. 

At release, Anne’s debut album, My Jesus, hit the #1 spot on multiple charts including Billboard’s Top Christian & Gospel Albums, Billboard’s Top 200 Christian & Gospel, Billboard’s Top Albums, and Apple Music (Christian & Gospel Category.) The album’s title track, “My Jesus,” earned Anne her first RIAA Gold Certification and a 2022 Billboard Music Award nomination for “Top Christian Song.” The album also made recent CCMG history, scoring the biggest debut week in over 15 years by a Capitol Christian Music Group-signed new artist.

Anne’s current single, “Mamas,” was released this past Mother’s Day weekend and features one of her personal musical inspirations, Hillary Scott. The moving track’s music video about the importance of a mother’s love has garnered 5.9 million views to date. 

For additional information on Anne Wilson, including upcoming tour dates, please visit 

Website //Instagram // Twitter// Facebook // YouTube 

Singer/songwriter Anne Wilson knows the healing power of music firsthand. The lyrics of Hillsong Worship’s “What A Beautiful Name” became a lifeline for the Lexington, Kentucky native after her brother was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of 23. Although she spent much of her childhood behind a piano, Wilson sang in front of an audience for the first time at her brother’s funeral. It was at that moment that she realized what she was born to do. A video of her moving performance organically circulated, eventually landing her a record deal. With a mesmerizing voice and a visible hunger for Jesus, the 20-year-old relies on personal journal entries and time spent in nature for songwriting inspiration. 

Wilson’s introductory track, “My Jesus”—which she co-wrote with Jeff Pardo and Matthew West—is a warm invitation to experience her Savior in the same intimate way she knows Him. She released a debut three-track single—also titled My Jesus—for Capitol Christian Music Group in early 2021 and followed it up with a live EP, My Jesus (Live in Nashville). Her song, “My Jesus,” charted on the Spotify Viral 50, Shazam Top 200, and Rolling Stone Top 25 Trending charts. Her story was also featured in the Religion News Service and The Washington Post. She made her Opry debut on the iconic stage in September 2021. Wilson was featured in Billboard Magazine as the October 2021 Chart Breaker artist.

Memphis Shelby Company via Tennessee Tourism for use by 360 Magazine

Tennessee Music Pathways

From Nashville to Memphis to Bristol, Tennessee is known for its music significance and contributions across the world. From the music legends of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton to the young music stars of today such as Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini, and Justin Timberlake, seven genres of music call Tennessee home–Country, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Blues, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Soul, and Gospel. The state’s rich musical heritage offers a musical oasis for all generations through a broad array of events, locations and stories that are all made uniquely in Tennessee.

Tennessee Music Pathways: The Tennessee Music Pathways connects visitors to the people, places and events that made Tennessee the international music mecca it has become. Throughout the 95 counties of the state, you can see legendary artists’ hometowns, famous music venues, museums dedicated to sharing this rich music history in interactive ways and much more. You can also travel the Ken Burns Country Music Pathways featuring the locations spotlighted in Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music.  

Tennessee Songwriters Week: Tennessee Songwriters Week (Feb. 20-26, 2022) supports music venues, generates awareness of songwriters’ contributions to Tennessee, paves the way for future artists and inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions and venues.

Explore the Historical Sites

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum: It was in 1927 in Northeast Tennessee where Ralph Peer conducted recording in which country music foundation artists, the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers, were discovered. Johnny Cash would go on to say these sessions were “the single most important event in the history of country music,” and now guests can learn about these sessions and the story at The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol. Visit Bristol in September to attend the award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion where the roots of traditional Appalachian music are brought to life through talented musicians.

Ryman Auditorium: Head to Nashville to walk on the hallowed ground of the Ryman Auditorium as you tour this historical icon. The Mother Church was the original site of the Grand Ole Opry, “the show that made country music famous.” It is a culture engine for Nashville and continues to bring music and fans together for over 128 years through concerts and behind-the-scenes tours. 

Graceland: Second only to the White House, Graceland is the most-visited residence in the country. Purchased by Elvis Presley in 1957, it was his home until his death 20 years later. In 1982, it opened to the public and more than 20 million people have visited since. In 2017, it expanded to include Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a 200,000-square-foot-square exhibition space, museum and automobile collection, all in Memphis, Tennessee.

Find more of Tennessee’s Music History Destinations HERE.

Feel the Sounds

The Caverns: They say bluegrass is mountain music, but sometimes you need to go down below. Descend more than 300 feet underground to a stone amphitheater in The Caverns, situated at the base of Monteagle Mountain near Pelham, where Bluegrass Underground has hosted countless music greats. Visitors to the Volunteer state will not want to miss the chance to get down in such an unforgettable place.

Bluebird Café: If you’re looking for the next Garth Brooks, take in a show at The Bluebird Café, a singer-songwriter haven in Nashville. The tiny venue always sells out, regardless who’s playing, so get tickets in advance or come early to wait in line to make sure you get a seat to one of the hottest writers’ rounds in Nashville. Afterwards, head to the Broadway Historic District: Honky Tonk Highway where visitors can hop around to the numerous famous bars where many music legends first got their start such as Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge where Kris Kristofferson, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings were all regular customers. Every year in June mark your calendars for CMA Music Festival where country music biggest, brightest and upcoming stars takeover downtown Nashville.

Beale Street Historic District: Declared by an act of Congress as “Home of Blues,” Beale Street in Memphis is a historic center for jazz, blues and rock enthusiasts. Here, relive some of the musical greats such as B.B. King and Louis Armstrong while exploring more than 25 bars, cubs and restaurants that line the district. Plan a trip this April 29- May 1 for the popular Beale Street Music Festival where the 2022 lineup is filled with some of the hottest stars including Foo Fighters, Van Morrison, Weezer, and many more.

Feel the Music Now Playing in Tennessee HERE.

Connect to the Music

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Learn about all the country music greats at the world’s largest music museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville. Walk through 350,000 square feet of galleries, educational centers, ever-changing exhibits and much more.

West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center: While in West Tennessee, make a trip to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center where you can find the home of Sleepy John Estes, and the one-room schoolhouse Tine Turner attended which now houses memorabilia including costumers, posters, videos and much more at the only Tina Turner museum in the world.

National Museum of African American Music: The first of its kind in the world, the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville celebrates and honors the vast music contributions of African Americans. Step inside to see interactive exhibits, videos, photos and more of famous artists from B.B. King to Beyonce, Fisk Jubilee Singers and Aretha Franklin. Learn about the history and music greats who birthed genres like R&B, jazz, blues and hip hop.

Stax Museum of American Soul: In Soulsville U.S.A, Memphis, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music presents the story of Stax, from early hits from music icons such as Booker T. & the MG’s and Isaac Hayes. Next door is Stax Music Academy, where students can learn about soul and tour the world playing it. Just around the corner from the museum is Royal Studios where current soul artists such as Bruno Mars cut their recent hits such as “Uptown Funk.”

Museum Center of 5ive Points: Cleveland is in the heart of the Ocoee Region, an area rich in traditional crafts and music. The Museum Center at 5ive Points in Cleveland’s Five Points neighborhood includes regional crafts on exhibit and for sale together with live music events and maintains a permanent exhibit called “The Red Back: America’s Best-Loved Hymnal.” These famous hymnal books and their signature red covers lived in the pew-back pockets of churches around the U.S. and were printed in Cleveland using a Linotype, which is also on display.

About Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Join other Tennessee travelers by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Evan Craft by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

EVAN CRAFT DROPS DOUBLE ALBUM

Singer/Songwriter Evan Craft Drops Double Album Holy Ground Oct. 1

Holy Ground/Tierra Santa to be released in both English and Spanish.

On the heels of the success of Desesperado, Evan Craft’s double album released in 2020 in English and Spanish with a deluxe bilingual album as well, the singer/songwriter released his next full-length worship album Holy Ground (English) and Tierra Santa (Spanish) simultaneously today, Friday, October 1.

This will be Craft’s first release as a married man! Him and his wife, Rachel, were married outside Nashville, Tennessee, on September 17.

Music Background

Craft’s most recent single Be Alright, landed the #1 spot on Christian radio Mediabase audience, #3 on Billboard’s Christian/Gospel songs chart, #5 on the Billboard Christian songs chart and cracked the top 20 at radio in three weeks. The album, Desesperado, debuted at #42 on the Billboard Top 100 Christian chart.

The successes of Be Alright have garnered Craft nearly 1 billion online streams and millions of subscribers and followers across social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Spotify.

The release of Holy Ground/Tierra Santa takes Craft back to the start, “Holy Ground is a very special album because it goes back to my roots as a worship leader.” He also mentions the goal he has in mind, “I get to incorporate Spanish language and experiences embedded in the lyrics from my travels throughout Latin America. We started out the year releasing pop music but I also want to lead people to a place of worship and to experience God in a very real way.”

Collaborations on this double release include Christine D’Clario on the feature track Healer, Pat Barrett (Same Spirit), Miel San Marcos (Looks Like Heaven) and Ke’Erron (Fix My Eyes/You Keep Hope Alive).

Latinx Impact

While not Hispanic, Craft has become a welcomed artist in the Latinx community not only for his authentic music, but his actions behind the words. To date he has raised more than $250k for the homeless mission in Los Angeles he co-founded called Mi Casa LA. In 2018 he rode his bicycle 1,200 miles across South America in a fundraising effort for various causes. A book and documentary of this trek are currently in the works.

Early in his career, Craft developed a deep love for the Latinx community in and around his Thousand Oaks, California, community. He began learning Spanish in high school to help his father who was running a homeless shelter in Los Angeles. In an effort to fully immerse himself in the Latin culture, Craft traveled to Mexico and other Latin American countries, which would spawn his first Spanish album.

He recorded Yo Soy Segundo in 2012 and much to Craft’s surprise, it became the No. 1 Latin Christian album. More mission trips would follow to South America and Craft’s online Spanish interpretations of popular worship songs have generated millions of views and earned him a devoted following.

“I have felt an incredible reception in Latin America,” Craft said. “I’ve been to Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and 99% of the people have honestly embraced me. It’s overwhelming and humbling.”

Elena Brody "Rock Steady" image via Jon Bleicher for use by 360 Magazine

Elana Brody Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Celebrating the beauty of human experience and the universality of dance, Elana Brody enchants fans with her exhilarating dance-pop music. Her most recent single, “Rock Steady,” showcases the singer’s joyous choreography and passionate songwriting ability. The “Rock Steady” music video can be viewed HERE. The bold, emotional ballad was produced by Max Martin protégé, Dominic Fallacaro. Brody spoke with 360 Magazine about the spirituality that courses through her songs, her music production process, and upcoming releases.

Your recent material was written during the pandemic. How did you manage to find inspiration during lockdown?

As a songwriter, lockdown – with all its grief and deep, life-changing themes- was a very fertile time for me. For one, I retreated from NYC to my childhood homestead in Virginia – in one of the most remote places East of the Mississippi. While there in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, with the music world at a stand-still, I found myself with very little to do but be in nature and play music. My then-partner had come with me, and we spent much of our time playing music together. I also felt called to offer musical prayer services online for those who needed inspiration and connection to Spirit. Because of this, I began by writing new prayer music – which felt right for the time. But, after my partner decided to split with me, as you can imagine – the folk songs started pouring out. This break-up, combined with being my original creative habitat, the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising, the political election-year insanity, and a life far from community, took me the deepest I’ve been in my writing for a long time – especially as a lyricist. I think some of the lyrics you will hear on my upcoming EP are possibly my best yet.

What does your songwriting process look like?

It depends on the song. Sometimes snippets of lyrics, with a bit of their melody, come first. Sometimes a really awesome piano hook comes first. Over the last many years, I have found my songwriting process to be mostly a long-winded jam session where I sing out my heart for hours, creating spontaneous free-style lyrics. Many of those lyrics disappear forever, but at least a few of them make the cut! Once I get a sense of the general narrative of the song, I think about phrases that will help move the story along, and then build new lyrics around the original “spontaneous-gems” to flesh it out. Over the pandemic, lyrics were everything – and I found myself caring more about them than the music. The music could have been 3 chords, and I’d be totally okay with that, as long as the lyrics were telling the story. But, in other phases of my life as a writer, I would basically compose a piano concerto! And then, lyrics come in afterwards. I love and live music. And honestly, I don’t have to work hard to have music flow through me. I have found the best music and lyrics that I have written, have written themselves. It’s actually that simple. “Rock Steady” was a bit like that.

Are you still looking to release your EP eventually, or have you decided to shelve it in favor of tracks like “Rock Steady”?

Yes, to the EP! If all works out with piecing it together (because it was recorded in many different settings over the pandemic) then I would really like to release it in the late fall. But! Because “Rock Steady” is such a banger and I want to make more songs like that, I decided to quickly write and record a new song called “Quicksand,” which is another pop-influenced song, to release as a follow up – before I transition into my folk music.

Why did you choose Costa Rica as the location for the “Rock Steady” music video?

It chose me! My friend lives there and she invited me to come out to visit. I said I would, but under the one condition – that we film a music video! She is a great networker and knows so many people to reach out to and work with. She also happens to be an ecstatic dance facilitator and DJ and was planning a dance on the weekend of my visit. So, naturally, we organized to film the dance party at an already scheduled and high-vibe (to use a very Costa Rican term) dance party! It couldn’t have been more perfect. We also did all our beach filming at a beach called Roca Beach – aka Rock (Steady) beach!

How does your spirituality factor into the way you create music?

Once, after I auditioned for the first season of USA’s XFactor, I left the stage (a story for another time!) and was interviewed by a faceless producer speaking to me from behind a black curtain. This producer asked me, “When you sing, it seems as if you are connecting to some higher power. Is this true for you? And what is that higher power?” At the time, I wouldn’t have considered myself a prayer-leader or religious at all, but I knew the answer to that right away. I said, “Yes. God.”

God can bring up a lot for people. And for me too. Growing up in rural Virginia, the idea of “God” sometimes felt like some kind of angry, repressive, overpowering righteousness. But – in my family – and in my own experience – God was gentler than that. The spirit between things. As a youth, I was surrounded by the most beautiful, untouched nature – and witness to the seasons in their full force. With below-zero cold and windy winters, slow-to-pop springs, abundant green summers with my folks’ organic gardens in full bloom, and then the rainbows of colorful Appalachian autumns – I knew what Spirit had to offer us humans. And music had always been my human way to offer Spirit back to Spirit, if that makes sense. It’s a giving and receiving from the big, wild wonders of creation, and then music is my way to return it back. Now that I have dived into my Jewish roots, and studied the traditions, I would say that song is the modern equivalent of sending burnt offerings up to the Creator. Instead of smoke, we let our voices rise. And I don’t see prayer music and pop music as all that different. Different themes, different stories, but ultimately, what we sing or speak is all prayer. And, especially now that I am very involved in prayer-leadership, as I create more songs, I do think about that in my writing.

What do you anticipate the reaction to “Rock Steady” will be like?

A fun one! Hopefully one that makes people dance and dance some more! Because I haven’t released much of my other music yet on the bigger platforms, most people won’t know the difference. Like, how did that happen? All of a sudden, I’m a pop star! The truth is, I’ve always been a pop star. Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion were my first vocal idols, and all of the first music I ever wrote sounded like it could have been in a Disney Channel original movie. Anyhow, I had this thought that I should go about my career in the opposite way of other folk artists, a la Jewel circa “Intuition,” and drop in with the fun and danceable stuff first. I don’t see myself ever being too genre-confined, anyway. Life is too short not to write whatever you feel and whatever is coming through you! I did think, “oh, maybe I should sell this song to Rhianna or another artist who could do it amazingly.” But honestly, this route of self-producing is very fun, and maybe even better. Now I get to be heard singing like a pop star too!

What other artists, musicians, or bands serve as inspirations for your music?

It’s a long list…

Joni Mitchell is my in-utero and post-utero,songwriting teacher. I used to call her my piano teacher, because I learned to play by playing so many of her songs. Several other musicians of my parents’ 60s/70s era also come in close as primary inspirations – including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Carole King, and the Beatles. They have shaped what a well-written song could be for me.

It’s hard to decipher what is an influence now because it’s just one big, long-cooked stew or spicy mole at this point.

I have always liked lyric-forward music, with bands like Of Montreal (his candidness in writing was life-changing for me!) and Death Cab for Cutie (the simple metaphors and speaking-style of his writing) and the Decemberists (storytelling, bard-like songs.) And the orchestral and lyrical artistry of the Fleet Foxes is stellar.

I have also always liked some good classic, chunky, Rock’n’roll and music that gets ya’ dancing, like Led Zeppelin and CCR. And the blues, especially blues piano music, has played a role in my music education since early childhood.

Then, there’s the eternal list of female influences. My most listened to, other than Joni, from the beginning are Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan. Then: Jesca Hoop, My Brightest Diamond, Regina Spektor and Kate Bush. And now: artists like Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlile, Sylvan Esso, and Sarah Jarosz have taken up a lot of my listening time. Sarah Jarosz’s album World on the Ground was really powerful to listen to last year during the pandemic. I hope that I can achieve that level of presence and intelligence in the instrumentation when I go to make my full-length album next year!

I also derive a LOT of influence from pop music. I can’t help it. I definitely fell in love with Ariana Grande’s album positions this year, and right now I am going down a Dua Lipa rabbit hole. I would say Rhianna is my number one, though. And I finally fell in love with Lady Gaga after seeing A Star is Born and listening to Joanne. Her belt has inspired me a lot. And I love vocalists in general. I have spent a lot of time really listening to vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand. These days, Elvis is my number one!

I will also never not want to listen to albums of bands like Nickel Creek, the [Dixie] Chicks, Bela Fleck, Mandolin Orange/Watchhouse, or the band Solas, to bring me the feeling of my early mountain roots and make me feel good.

I am truly a world music fan. I love to listen to the magic of music across the world. I am really inspired to hear virtuosity, no matter what genre. I love vocal virtuosos and am listening right now to the artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I am curious as to when I’ll be able to imitate him. (I’m really good at imitating!) Bobby McFerrin has also been a teacher in real life. He inspires me to become more accurate in my improvisations.

I also listen to prayer music, but mostly of the Sikh or Kundalini yoga genre. Sometimes you’ll find me jamming out to Jewish artists (many of them friends of mine) or Gospel music. Anita Wilson, a modern gospel singer, has been a vocal inspiration for me because she really sings with the lows of her range.

Musical theater music is also a major influence. That Roger and Hammerstein stuff pours out of me like it were an extension of my soul! Lastly, at this point, after spending time at Berklee College of Music, I have been greatly inspired by jazz and R&B.

Besides “Rock Steady” and the EP, can fans look forward to any other releases to come in 2021-2022?

Yes! I mentioned that I am wanting to get cracking on my full-length album that will be mostly in the Americana, New Orleans blues, Rock-and-Roll, and folk pop styles. I am really, really excited about it. But I’m not sure yet who I will work with on it. An exciting unknown. I imagine it will end up feeling like a magnum opus when it is finished because I’ve been with these songs for so long. Nothing will be more amazing than when they are out in the world surrounded by strings, the right instrumentation and arrangements. I also would like to produce my song “City of Man” in a big vaudevillian, brassy style. [I want to] make a little music-video theater piece out of it. I have also been sitting on this one for a long time. It sort of harkens to the fall of capitalism…that is going on in our world and the post-Trump era– it’s due time that I get that one out. Look out for it all!

Nashville’s Museum of African American Music

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer visits the National Museum of African American Music located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville’s new National Museum of African American Music’s mission is to showcase the central role African Americans have played in weaving the fabric of America’s soundtrack.

Nashville is a fitting home for the only museum in America with a surgical dedication to showcase the impact that African American music has had on the fabric of the country’s culture. Numerous African American musicians – including Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, the Fist Jubilee Singers and Little Richard, fine-tuned their early career trajectories while performing at various Nashville music venues.

Distinctive areas throughout the museum offer thematic presentations such as One Nation Under a Groove-featuring the story of R&B in post WWII America while the Rivers of Rhythm Pathway is graced with captivating interactive panels keyed to an animated timeline that links the evolution of Southern religious, blues and contemporary R&B and hip-hop genres.

Digging deep in to the evolution of the African American religious experience, Wade in the Water displays the evolution of religious music—from indigenous African music that survived through throughout slavery and evolved via African American spirituals and hymns with a pinnacle during the 1940s to 1960s “Golden Age of Gospel”.

The museum does a deft job connecting the dots to show how the influential gospel vocal groups influenced doo-wop, R&B and soul music.

In addition to dynamic multi-media displays, the venue offers a state-of-the-art performance hall to screen films, lectures and live stage concerts by local and international musicians.

This is just a sampler of the numerous captivating interactive displays that you will experience at the museum. And the NAAM Museum is conveniently located smack in the heart of Nashville, literally just steps away from the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 

Nashville's Museum of African American Music image via Tom Wilmer for use by 360 Magazine
Nashville's Museum of African American Music image via Tom Wilmer for use by 360 Magazine
Nashville's Museum of African American Music image via Tom Wilmer for use by 360 Magazine
Image courtesy of The Chamber Group For use by 360 Magazine

Jon Batiste Is the First Music Guest On Colbert

JON BATISTE IS FIRST MUSICAL GUEST BACK IN THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER ON THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT, WATCH HIS EPIC PERFORMANCE OF HIS SINGLE FREEDOM FEATURING THE HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR

Last night, Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe winning musician Jon Batiste gave the first musical performance back in the Ed Sullivan Theater on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he serves as bandleader and music director.

Batiste performed an epic rendition of his single FREEDOM from his album WE ARE, which featured the Harlem Gospel Choir, seven trumpeters including GRAMMY-winning Keyon Harrold, Batiste’s band Stay Human, and dancers with choreography by Emmy-winning Jemel McWilliams. Watch the performance HERE.

There is no better time for Jon Batiste’s song of the summer FREEDOM, a funk-driven 70s-pop banger that Entertainment Weekly called an exhilarating, horn-heavy celebration of independence. Last Thursday, Batiste released the official music video for his single FREEDOMWATCH HERE – an electrifying love letter to his hometown of New Orleans. The video has already surpassed 10MM views across Facebook and YouTube.

In the video, Batiste leads the ultimate second line through the streets, linking with the legendary St. Augustine High School Marching 100, the Joyful Choir of New Orleans, Queen Tahj of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, dancers, musicians, and residents alike.

Jon Batiste has had a breakout year. The Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA winning musician’s hit song I NEED YOU reached #1 on the AAA Radio Charts, his album WE ARE debuted in the Billboard Top R&B Charts, Top Album Charts, and Top 200, his I NEED YOU music video surpassed 10MM views, he’s appeared on American Idol,  Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Today Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, CBS This Morning as guest and co-host, and of course the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

We Are represents a vivid turn from straight jazz to joyful, danceable pop and neo-soul…a bold declaration of conscience… – Vanity Fair

WE ARE, shows another side, with profound reflections on race and identity in America and a soul-stirring mix of gospel, jazz, funk and more. – NPR Music

[Batiste] displays a rich soul vision, evoking Al Green, modern R&B, and New Orleans jazz Rolling Stone

On WE ARE, Batiste presents a captivating musical experience to the world rooted in catharsis, joy, freedom, contemplation and sensuality. It’s a love letter to his southern roots and the heritage of Black Music with guest appearances by Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St Augustine Marching 100, his father Michael Batiste, grandfather David Gauthier and many more. It is a meditation steeped in the sounds of the times with collaborators including POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem) and others. 

I’m publicly known for some things already, says Batiste. But there’s so much more to know about me. It’s always been there. Now is the time to show the world my full artistry.

Batiste continues, WE ARE is a message of love for humanity, of humble reverence for our past, and of a hopeful future, in which we are the ones who can save us. The art reveals its motive to you. You just have to wait for the Spirit to tell you what it wants.

A special thanks to Coach for dressing members of the cast of the FREEDOM video.

ABOUT JON BATISTE

One of the best-known musicians of his generation, virtuoso pianist, singer, bandleader, educator and television personality Jon Batiste has spent his career bringing that music back to where it started — that is, with the people. From his days at Juilliard, where he established his Stay Human band by playing around New York City’s subways and in street performances he called love riots, to his work since 2015 as the bandleader and musical director of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the Kenner, Louisiana native has consistently channeled his superb technical skill and deep knowledge of jazz tradition towards a specific, intentional purpose: making people’s lives better and brighter, one harmonaboard (that’s harmonica and keyboard, combined) solo at a time.

Born into Louisiana’s legendary musical Batiste family, Jon has performed and recorded widely since his teens. His flexibility as an artist, his fluency in jazz as well as popular music of all stripes, has allowed him to collaborate with legends from Wynton Marsalis, a mentor since his Juilliard days, to Prince — as well as many of the widely-varied artists who appear on the Late Show.

Batiste’s marquee performances have ranged from the Grammys, to the Kennedy Center Honors, to the US Open and the NBA All-Star Game — in 2015, Batiste and the Stay Human Band became the first group to play the main stage at both the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals.

Batiste played himself on the HBO series Treme and appeared in director Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer — most recently, his music was featured in the 2020 Disney/Pixar film Soul. Batiste won a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for his participation in the soundtrack alongside Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and the trio are currently nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Soundtrack.

He’s been awarded the American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harry Chapin ASCAP Humanitarian Award and appeared on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list; Batiste also currently serves as the Music Director of The Atlantic and the Co-Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Jon Batiste is devoted to the education and mentorship of young musicians. He has led his own Social Music Residency and Mentoring Program sponsored by Chase, as well as master classes throughout the world. He has also led several cultural exchanges, beginning in 2006, while still a teen, with the Netherlands Trust, which brought students from the USA and Holland to perform with him at the Royal Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall.

Batiste balances a demanding performance schedule with public speaking engagements, masterclasses, brand partnerships, community activism and acting roles. His composing and songwriting will be featured in his large-scale, genre-melding symphonic work American Symphony, set to premiere at Carnegie Hall in 2021 and he has been developing a Broadway musical about the life of famed painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.

We Win Artwork courtesy of Republic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Lil Baby × Kirk Franklin – We Win

REPUBLIC RECORDS & WARNER BROS. PICTURES ANNOUNCE SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK AVAILABLE JULY 9, UNVEIL FIRST SINGLE LIL BABY + KIRK FRANKLIN WE WIN (SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY) PRODUCED BY JUST BLAZE LISTEN: HERE, SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY IN THEATERS AND ON HBO MAX JULY 16

Listen to Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin’s collab here!

Gearing up for the slam dunk movie event of the summer, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Republic Records and Warner Bros. Pictures proudly present the Space Jam: A New Legacy Official Soundtrack, arriving in stores and at all digital retailers on July 9, 2021.The mega-anticipated animated/live-action film opens in theaters across the U.S. and on HBO Max on Friday July 16th. The film will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

To herald the arrival of the Soundtrack, the first single, We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy) by Lil Baby + Kirk Franklin just dropped today. Listen to We Win here.

The track unites red-hot multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated Atlanta rapper Lil Baby with 16x GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum gospel icon Kirk Franklin over a beat from Just Blaze [Eminem, JAY-Z].

On Wednesday this week, LeBron James shared the track on game day to his over 85 million Instagram followers and had fans buzzing over the arrival of the song. 

Stay tuned for the soundtrack lineup and more news about Space Jam: A New Legacy Official Soundtrack.

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY

Welcome to the Jam! Basketball champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny with the animated/live-action event Space Jam: A New Legacy, from director Malcolm D. Lee and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter. This transformational journey is a manic mashup of two worlds that reveals just how far some parents will go to connect with their kids. When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready-for-action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents and surprise even King James by playing the game their own way.

James stars alongside Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (the Avengers films, Hotel Rwanda), Khris Davis (Judas and the Black Messiah, TV’s Atlanta), Sonequa Martin-Green (TV’s The Walking Dead, Star Trek: Discovery), newcomer Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman (Looney Tunes Cartoons), Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons), and Zendaya (upcoming Dune, Malcolm & Marie).

Lee (Girls Trip, Night School) directs from a screenplay by Juel Taylor & Tony Rettenmaier & Keenan Coogler & Terence Nance and Jesse Gordon and Celeste Ballard, story by Juel Taylor & Tony Rettenmaier & Keenan Coogler & Terence Nance and Terence Nance. Based on Space Jam, written by Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick and Timothy Harris & Herschel Weingrod. The film’s producers are Ryan Coogler, LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Duncan Henderson, and the executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Allison Abbate, Jesse Ehrman, Jamal Henderson, Spencer Beighley, Justin Lin, Terence Nance and Ivan Reitman. 

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Salvatore Totino (Spider-Man: Homecoming), animation producer Troy Nethercott (Wonder Park), production designers Kevin Ishioka (The Mule), Akin McKenzie (Netflix’s When They See Us) and Clint Wallace (upcoming Eternals), editor Bob Ducsay (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi) and costume designer Melissa Bruning (Rampage, War for the Planet of the Apes). The music is by Kris Bowers (Greenbook, Netflix’s Bridgerton).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Proximity/The SpringHill Company Production, a Malcolm D. Lee Film, Space Jam: A New Legacy. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be released in theaters nationwide on July 16, 2021 and will be available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it also comprises innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G).  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

Make sure to stream the new Lil Baby × Kirk Franklin song We Win from the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy coming to theaters and HBOMax in July!

Kayaking illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What’s Trending in Tennessee

What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee

  • Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
  • Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
  • Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
  • Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
  • Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
  • Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
  • Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
  • Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
  • Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
  • Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

  • Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
  • Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
  • Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
  • Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
  • Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
  • Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
  • LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
  • Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
  • Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu. 

New Attractions and Exhibits

  • Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
  • Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
  • Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
  • Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
  • Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.

New Hotels & Places to Stay

  • Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
  • Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
  • Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
  • Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.

New Stores

  • Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
  • Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
  • Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.

Hot/Trending Places for Spring

  • Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
  • Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
  • Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
  • Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
  • Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
  • Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
  • LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
  • Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
  • Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
  • Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
  • Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
  • Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
  • Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

Spring Festivals & Events

  • Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
  • Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
  • Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
  • Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
  • Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
  • Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at RippavillaTickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
  • Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
  • Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
  • Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
  • Harriman (May 1) – The May Day Craft and Antique Fair will have vendors that display handmade crafts, vintage items and antiques, food vendors, live entertainment and classic car show.
  • Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
  • Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
  • Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
  • Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
  • Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
  • Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
  • Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
  • Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
  • Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
  • Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
  • Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
  • Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit the calendar on the website.